“Creativity takes courage” –Henri Matisse, artist
I am not an artist, but I’m raising one and she has taught me the truth of this French artist’s words. Every watercolor stroke takes a bit of bravery.
I can’t really draw or paint, but I love creativity. I used to spend a lot of time and money being a “maker.” I was constantly crafting something because it brought me joy. Being able to use creativity to provide dignified work through fair trade product creation at Mercy House, brings me so much joy and purpose. God doesn’t waste a thing.
There’s a reason the word artisan cradles the word art. It takes courage for marginalized women around the globe to create something from nothing, bravery to push past the injustice in the world and make art. Creating has been a part of the Mercy House programs in the maternity homes in Kenya since the doors first opened in 2010.
There is something deeply divine about watching a pregnant girl who has a shattered self esteem become an artisan. It’s a quiet, tentative beginning but if you asked these 43 teens in Kenya what they love most–it might be this supernatural transition of becoming an artisan. Whether or not they continue creating after they transition home, one thing is for sure, creating art has taught them how to believe in themselves. God uses creativity to start the healing process.
A few months ago when I was in at the maternity homes, we spent some time teaching some basic art skills to one of the residents who suffers from a deadly disease that prevents her from returning to school. She was so eager to learn. With just a few lessons, she was creating art at this level! There isn’t an art school in the entire country.
But it was the reaction of the other girls in various stages of healing, who were hungry to learn the same skills that got my attention. We began dreaming of the holistic healing and self-esteem building that could happen with a concentrated effort to expose these sweet girls to art lessons, textures and colors and techniques. And who knows what kind of fair trade product could be created…
In April of this year, I will return to Kenya with a team to host an intensive five day art therapy camp for more than 30 of the teen moms whose lives have been impacted. The week will end with an art gallery at our bi-annual graduation ceremony for girls who are transitioning home.
And that’s where you come in: The art teachers leading our therapy camp have put together an extensive Amazon wish list of art supplies so that every teen mom attending the camp will have their own art kit.
Would you consider contributing a supply or two so that we can take art supplies to Kenya and . . .
Together, we can create a work of art.