This month, we completed our Intensive Training Program in the arts for fifty young students in Kroo Bay. The young women in our batik program acquired skills in wax design, four styles of tie-and-dye, abstract broom and brush designs, and landscape wax drawing. The young men and women in our screen-printing and crafts course learned skills in t-shirt printing, sign printing, banner design, tablecloth design and tablemat design. Each of our students learned invaluable skills in small business, investment, and marketing principles.
With a 100% graduation rate, we have placed each of our Kroo Bay students in apprenticeship positions with thriving Freetown arts businesses, and facilitated their formation of arts collectives with which they can pool resources and negotiate sales prices for their products in Freetown marketplaces.
Please enjoy the pictures of our students working in their apprenticeship and collective settings. Thank you so much for your support. Together, we have changed the lives of fifty orphaned and abandoned youth in Kroo Bay. Just last year, our students had never had the opportunity to be educated and were forced to engage in degrading and dangerous work to survive. Today, our students are using the skills they've learned to support themselves financially with dignity. For the first time, our students are connected to a community of mentors who will continue to foster their artistic growth and provide them with the support they need to succeed. Again, thank you for making our work possible. We look forward to partnering with you again in the future as we continue our work throughout Sierra Leone.
Arts Education International
I’m writing to update on the significant progress our programs have made in the past few weeks. The young ladies in the intensive batik fabric-dyeing program completed their first unit of training, which culminated in the removal of wax from their first finished yards of fabric and their preparation for sale. Instructor Mohamed Kamara described the final class of the first unit:
“They were so happy to see what they themselves had created. Now they understand that they can do anything if they believe in themselves. Some of them even shed tears of joy when they held up their finished product, the culmination of their first month of training.”
This week, the girls began their second unit in gara tie-dye styles. In this unit, they will learn several tying and threading patterns including bird-eye tying, checker tying, and rainbow tying, all of which are highly desirable styles of fabric in Freetown markets.
Last week, the students in the stencil printing collective completed their first unit in t-shirt design and printing. In this unit, they learned principles in block letter design, frame application, color mixing, ink processing and application. Once trained, each student had the opportunity to come up with their own original design and create an additional t-shirt at the headquarters of Total Graphic Design in Freetown, where many of our students will continue their training in an apprenticeship setting upon their completion of our intensive training program. This week, they began their second unit in table cloth design.
I hope you enjoy the attached pictures of our program. As always, thank you for partnering with us in this work. You’re support makes it all possible! If you are pleased with the progress we have made and the positive change we are affecting in the lives of abandoned youth in Kroo Bay, please consider making your contribution on a monthly basis.
I'm proud to report that our program in Kroo Bay is off to a fantastic start! Our first three weeks of classes have been marked with great successes and new opportunities for the youth that we serve. The young women in our batik fabric dyeing class began with a lesson in defining the styles and materials critical to the art of batik, and the many ways the fabric can be marketed and utilized by customers. The next topic area addressed was the importance of taking proper safety precautions, including the use of rubber gloves when mixing dye and dipping fabric, safe use of the small kerosene stoves used to melt the wax for the fabric design, and proper protocols for safe disposal of dyed water after dipping. Once the safety lessons were completed, each student received her own pair of gloves, kerosene stove, small bottle of kerosene, and block of wax for coursework. The girls were thriled to receive these supplies! For Marion Davis, the materials represent an opportunity for her to "provide for herself with dignity," a key to her future success. Last week the girls were introduced to batik patterns and designed, and began their first drawing and wax application on their brillion cloth.
The young men and women in the stencil-printing course began their program with great enthusiasm. The students began with principles of screen-printing design and safety precautions for using the silk-screen cutters. They each received their own frames, silk-screen cutters, yards of silk, and t-shirts for printing. The second week, they practiced designing and cutting block letters and applying their silk screen cut-outs to their frames. This week, they are beginning to train in ink processing, including mixing of colors and proper application of fabric ink.
Please enjoy the attached pictures from our program. As always, we appreciate your support and are honored to have you as partners in our project.
We are thrilled to announce that our program in Kroo Bay begins tomorrow, Monday January 16th! This past month was full of exciting preparations for our team in Sierra Leone. Our staff held meetings with the local chieftaincy and council to coordinate our efforts in Kroo Bay. We are very grateful to have been offered full access Kroo Bay Day Care Center for our workshops as a community contribution. We completed registration for all 50 students participating in our program, and held two introductory workshops addressing the vision and mission of Arts Education International, our expectations for the students, and the schedule of classes. The senior artistic instructors enjoyed a fantastic series of Teacher Leadership workshops taught by Audrey Sanchez, Program Director for Teach for America Greater New Orleans. During the workshops, the instructors learned strategies for creating a culture of achievement for extremely disenfranchised students, backwards planning, and assessment protocol.
Finally, we conducted interviews with each of our new students to learn more about their circumstances, struggles, and hopes for the future. The children we are serving in Kroo Bay have never been to school, have no family support, and have to do degrading and dangerous work to survive. Despite this hardship, they are each dedicated to making the most of the opportunity we are providing. We are excited and honored to be offering a transformative threee-month intensive program for these remarkable young people.
Attached to this report are the syllabi for our batik fabric-dyeing and stencil printing workshops. I hope you'll enjoy reviewing our plans and learning about all of the exciting work we have planned for the next three months. We look forward to giving you our first program update in two weeks! As always, thank you for your support. We are thrilled to have you as a partner in our work!
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.
Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
Still want to help?
Find another project in
that needs your help.