A quick update on our art program!
Giao has been our program manager since we started the non-profit. She teaches English at a local High School in Cam Duc where one of our art and music schools is. She grew up in the small town with her sister, brother and parents and stayed on to teach English at the high school. When we first approached her about working for us, Giao was a little skeptical about the usefulness of us focusing on the arts, but she has grown to love the arts herself, and can see the amazing benefits for our students and some of hers who now attend our classes. Giao herself is an incredible singer!
In December, Giao, had the chance to participate in a small workshop in Ho Chi Minh City with the Obama Foundation’s Girls Opportunity Alliance. The workshop participants included seven non-profits like ourselves, working in Vietnam trying to create change through the promotion of girl’s education. During this day, the group worked to identify tools and strategies to help overcome barriers that are common in Vietnam for girls accessing education.
We were so honored to be selected to participate being such a small non-profit! For Giao this was an amazing experience, and to add even more excitement to her day, she was able to meet Michelle Obama who was there in Vietnam visiting organizations working with girls!
We have a lot planned for 2020, including hosting a young, mural artist named Danae Brissonett, who is just amazing. Danae will be training four-five of our female art students on mural making, as well as working with all of the children creating wonderful masks and artwork. We have a lot planned!
Thanks to all of you who have supported and continue to support our art program. Two of our former students have now sold their works of art for over $300 each, and both of them are using the money to support themselves through college. Amazing how your donations and support have changed these kid’s lives.
Happy New Year and thank you,
Dear Friend of Rock-Paper-Scissors Children’s Fund!
I’m sure that some of you may remember Trang from our previous reports? Trang started coming to our art class while she was in high school. We could see from her work that she had immense talent and a true passion to create. She put in as much time as she could to train and prepare for the entrance exam to the Ho Chi Minh City University of Fine Arts. We were not surprised at all when we found out she was accepted and had received a full scholarship. Not only being extremely talented, Trang is one of the warmest, grateful, and most generous young woman you could meet.
Each summer while in college, Trang comes home to Cam Duc and works with some of our youngest kids in the art program, bringing with her fresh ideas and new skills she is continuing to acquire during her time at school. This summer was no different, but her task was much larger in that she designed the art projects for our summer arts camp for more than 100 kids, with ages ranging from 2-16 years old.
For the first time in a very long time RPS did not have a volunteer summer trip. But that did not stop the summer camps in the village of Son Tan that many, many kids have grown to look forward to. Along with Trang, our older students, teachers, mentors and volunteers from Cam Duc stepped up to the plate and came through in such a big way, not just for us, but for the kids in Son Tan. Per usual, they showed us how compassionate they all are and what wonderful representatives of our organization they truly are. We are so proud, and of course the kids in the village had a blast as usual!
Not just a talented young artist in her own right, Trang is a teacher, open to welcoming any child into her space of creativity and put them on the path to create for themselves. We hope you enjoy the great collaborative artwork that the kids made at camp this year!
Looking ahead to next spring we will be raising money to host an amazing young mural artist from Canada who will be training girls in creating mural art as well as doing some great projects with the kids! We can’t wait to share more with you about this upcoming project. We are of course always looking for help to fund a project like this or help in finding potential sponsors. Please keep us in mind, and let us know if you have any ideas!
Thank you everyone-and happy fall!
In May, I traveled to Vietnam to work on some of our programs there for two weeks and to visit and meet with our teachers. Our three art programs are going very well, supporting around 75 kids year round and many more in the summer months. Our program in Cam Duc, Vietnam, where we first started in 2013 supports 45 students who come to our little house on a side street in the town to take art classes and/or music classes. They have a great time together not only as students but as friends and supporters of one another outside of our classes.
Over the last six months, we have had a few new high school students join our program to be trained technically to take the college entrance exam to attend art school, post-high-school. They are all incredibly talented. A high school student from Rhode Island, who will be attending the Savannah College of Art and Design in September, traveled with me to Vietnam in May to teach art classes and take part in our bikes for girls program. Abbey spent time teaching technique in portrait drawing to our older students, and as you can see from the photos, they are all very talented. While we were there in May, we enjoyed holding extra art classes for our students in free color drawing, collage, and watercolor.
This year we are hoping to raise some additional money to be able to bring a well know French, female mural artist to Vietnam for two weeks to work with our students. Danae lives in Taiwan now and has done mural projects with kids around the world. We would love to have her work with us and will be raising the money to support her travel to Vietnam and a small stipend, the project will cost around $3000. As part of the project, we hope to select 3-4 college-age, Vietnamese, female artists to come and work on the project along-side Danae to learn how to develop murals and work with children on large art installations like this.
Thank you so much for your help and thank you to those of you who have chosen to provide a monthly, recurring donation, this is something that makes such a difference to us, that we can count on this monthly income to continue to buy art supplies and support our wonderful teachers.
Best to all of you and thank you for your loving support of our kids and of course, my family and our venture to share love through art in the world.
This is just a quick note to let you all know that the children you have supported as part of our art program in Vietnam are doing so well! We have 70 children who continue to come and take part in our community-based art classes, to share their joy as young artists and work together as friends. Each student takes classes with us a few days each week all year long, and spends even more time during the summers. All of the children are becoming amazing young artists, and you have helped to provide a place for them to have fun and share in the experience of being creative.
I’ve attached some recent photos of our students from one of the villages that we work in. The families in this village unfortunately endure very difficult living conditions. We always wish that we could do more for them, but we come back to education as one way that we are able to help. This year, thanks to a few, wonderful donors we have been able to sponsor five students from our art class in the village, to continue on through school. This is a challenging task considering the children must move away from home to attend 6th-12th grade because there are no schools nearby that will take ethnic minority children. We are happy to let you know the five kids are doing well in the school and that they are at the top of their class. In 2019 we hope to find a few more sponsors to help send more of our students to school from the village. The sponsorships are $50 each month, so please let me know if this might be something you are interested in.
Finally, a bit more news! In January a wonderful young woman held a fundraiser in Ho Chi Minh City for our arts program; she named the fundraiser, the Lotus Art Project, and involved a number of Vietnamese artists who donated a percentage of their sales at a one night art event. Stefanie and her mom luckily had the opportunity to travel up to Khanh Hoa and meet all of kids, which was great fun for everyone.
We are interested in new art projects to do with the kids, so if you have any great ideas, please email us: email@example.com And we are always in need of paint brushes and small art supplies that can be carried to Vietnam in a suitcase!
Thank you again for supporting our students in Vietnam, you donations are what make this all happen!
We hope that everyone is doing well as we head through January and into February already!
First of all, thank you to those of you who donated to our art program in Vietnam during the holiday fundraiser throughout December, it is a great relief to know that we can go into the new year with funding for our kids! And of course thank you so much to all of you who continue to support us annually and monthly, your recurring donations are such a great help and assurance to us!
I wanted to share with you that Trang, one of our past art students who continues to work for us in the summer months while she is in college, has been awarded a full annual scholarship to the Ho Chi Minh City University of Fine Arts for two years. She is currently a junior there and continues to be the top student in the program! We are so excited for Trang.
In other great news for Trang, a wonderful person contacted us a few months ago and wanted to hold a fundraiser in Vietnam to sell artist’s work to raise money for our music and art programs. The fundraiser took place last Friday night and was a great success and a number of paintings were sold, including one of Trang’s! We are so excited for her. Her artwork was not only sold, but displayed in the Museum of Fine Arts in Saigon along with many professional and well-known artists from Vietnam and other countries! Here is Trang and her work!
Thank you all for supporting our students like Trang. You have been instrumental in changing her life.
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