A couple of months ago, during an art workshop at Jerash Refugee Camp, we asked the children to draw their happy place.
Doa'a a 10 years old girl looked at me and said "I don't know how to draw my happy place."
I asked her "Where is your happy place?"
She replied "My happy place is what we are doing right now. It is when I do art."
Over the past months, I have been frequently asked Why Art? Why is The Orenda Tribe's mission focused on Art and not basics like food for example or schooling. This is why:
- Creativity - Art encourages children to think outside of the box, to explore and take risks. It drives innovation. A skill that is needed nowadays, especially in underprivileged communities.
- Confidence - The process of stepping out of their comfort zone, trying new things, making mistakes and learning from these mistakes builds confidence within the kids.
- Problem-Solving - Art teaches children that there can be more than one solution to the same problem and allows them to look at problems from different perspectives.
- Art Builds Community - Seeing other people's creative expression breaks barriers between everyone, whether racial, religious, socio-economical, cultural or other. It makes us more connected through seeing how we are all related. Art creates a sense of belonging.
- Communication - Sometimes children find it difficult to communicate their emotions verbally. Art provides a platform for children to express their emotions and communicate it.
Also, art teaches children how to be accountable, how to collaborate with others, enhances their focus and much more.
I have always been curious about art, although I barely knew anything about it. Through The Orenda Tribe, I am meeting different artists on daily basis and getting to know more about art and how art can beautifully impact a community.
Art is a neglected subject in most communities although it is very important in building the skills in children that will allow them to build a better future for themselves and their communities and this is why The Orenda Tribe is on a mission to spread art into those areas through the Art for Hope initiative.