Art for All
Recently, our social projects in Peru, received a visit from the organisation "Art for All". With their creative workshops, they left a great impact on all the participants.

"Art for All" believes that everyone has the ability to be creative and emphasises the importance of creative pursuits. The organisation grew out of a group of artists who wondered if their talents were only available to those who could afford it. This led to an important shift: bringing art to people who normally could not afford it. With a history of 23 years and 40 to 45 projects worldwide, "Art for All" has touched the lives of many people. It all started with the intention of providing joy and an escape from the daily grind and misery to people, mainly children, who find themselves in difficult situations. But gradually they noticed that art can also change people, have a therapeutic effect, without considering themselves therapists. With modest beginnings in Romania, their work expanded to many countries, including northern Thailand, Uganda, Rwanda, and now for the first time South America, with Peru as a new challenge.
Invited by Solid, they travelled to Peru and discovered the different projects of DIA, MANTA, JOVEM and also worked with the street youth of the organisation Cachorros. During their visit they organised a lot of creative workshops for all the children and youngsters of the projects, from blind drawing, painting t-shirts, discovering papier-mâché, to making dolls, all with a particular emphasis on building confidence and self-esteem. The workshops not only brought a lot of fun but the staff also saw changed attitudes among the participants, a growing confidence, and a renewed appreciation for creativity. 

Looking back on their time in Peru, we asked the ART FOR ALL team some questions: 

The most special moments during the mission

Guy: "We did a home visit with a teenage mum. That was very moving. It really grabbed me when she told her story and that she got emotional herself. But especially to hear that she had a goal in mind and that she wanted to mean something to others. She wants to become a lawyer because she didn't get certain help and wants to offer it to other teenage mothers. I thought that was a very nice moment." 

Loes: "I loved how the children sought solutions to free our friend who, according to the story, was stuck in a cage. When he was freed and we asked what was now missing before he could get back on the road, the children said, "Give him a family". I thought that was very beautiful. 

I also found it impressive how the organisation DIA is put together. Heartwarming to see how people are treated, the children and the young girls."

Wim: "What was special was that the team had a very special gift for us. That has never happened to us like that before and it does something to a person. We were blindfolded and taken to a room where there was very quiet music, where scented candles were burning. It was a very special atmosphere. And there our feet were washed and rubbed with ointment. And then you get some head massage and then the blindfolds came off. Then it turned out that we were standing in the middle of a heart, full of flower petals and scented candles. That was their way of honouring us for what we did. That's quite touching, yes."

Goals of the workshops

Wim: "In the first place, our aim was to give them a good time, a break from the daily grind, a break from misery and worries. To be able to enjoy the things we offer. If it has helped them overcome things, regain self-confidence, learn to trust more people, that's an added bonus.
If they discover that they want to continue doing something with art, that's also a plus. 
We are also convinced that working around creativity also does something to the brain, teaching people to think more creatively laterally rather than always the straightforward and logical. There are always more solutions than the most obvious. If you can also reinforce that in people then we have also achieved our goal."

Impact on the participants

Wim: "When you start, the attitude is always a bit expectant. And that is understandable: we are complete strangers. They are all children who carry baggage with them. Sometimes quite literally. If you then gradually notice that they hang on to you, they try things you might have doubted at first whether they would want to take part in... then you notice a difference. Also thanks to the good commitment of the staff, I think. Because if the facilitator is willing to sit on the floor, the children are also more willing to do so. At los cachorros - those are street children, some who still live on the streets every day - they are also so happy and so grateful; If a boy two heads taller than myself comes and grabs me, and is so grateful, it must be that it has done something to those guys. I firmly believe that."

What do you take home? 

Wim: "If you meet a girl here who is 13 and pregnant, you don't know to what extent that was your own choice. If you meet a 17-year-old girl who is pregnant, but already has a three-year-old child. They also have a whole life ahead of them, of course. And how should that life unfold? Fortunately, there is then something like this organisation that guides them and can also guide them for several more years. In the hope that everything will work out, of course."

A big thanks to the ART FOR ALL team! & to Joni & Jenthe, for helping as volunteers, translators en enthusiasts! Special thanks to Jenthe, for making this article possible. 


Doing my internship at Solid
Freedom, confidence and trust