24 Feb Faces of Children of Hope: Creativity in Our Homes
At both of our homes, our endeavor to nurture and grow talents and creativity sits at the core of what we do. We encourage our children to explore creativity with arts, crafts, cooking and music. Some of our children who struggle with academic work are often extremely talented in sports or arts. This calls for a holistic approach in the care we are able to provide for our children, building life skills and providing our children with the opportunity to excel in areas they enjoy. Our staff also encourage the use of creativity as a form of therapy, whether it be communicating emotions, or expressing aspirations in a creative way.
For these reasons, we include art, craft and music activities within our schedules. Creative projects, cooking and even games provide an opportunity to work independently, or as part of a team, as well as bond with uncles and aunts or other children within the homes. During these times, our teenagers in particular have found creative ways to address their frustrations, communicate with our staff and tell their stories. We are so proud of our children in each and every way.
Over the past 9 months, our children have been limited to learning from our homes rather than in a school environment due to COVID-19. After the novelty wore off after a few days, we began to see our children become frustrated and missed school and their classmates. At both homes, we were fortunate enough to continue a high standard of learning and encourage our children to stay positive, be creative and remain focused. During this time, we spent time with the children on lots of art and creative projects, which made people learn new skills in bead making, rug making, pottery, hairmake, music, dancing, cooking, baking, painting, drawing and sewing. The list of skills our children have learned are truly endless and the bonds that were grown and strengthened with each other has been heartwarming.
We wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of the creativity in both our homes.
Creativity in Kikuyu
In our Kikuyu home, Peninah, Sam, Elizabeth, Cecilia, Mary, Kefa, and Damaris are our cherished and talented uncles and aunts who spearheaded the creativity and projects. While all of our children show their creativity in a variety of ways, let’s shine a light on a few special talents at our Kikuyu home…
Meet Mercy; our budding baker and a lady of many talents
Mercy Muthoni is talented in so many areas. She can often be found sketching, painting, baking, singing and even decorating using her wide range of creative skills. Mercy has an eye for fashion and design too. She has decorated her room and her cottage with paintings and works hard on the tasks she’s working on. After graduating from college, Mercy dreams of having her own fancy restaurant full of art and beautiful music. Let’s pray that Mercy’s dream can some day become a reality.
Dennis the drawer
With a love for sketching, drawing, and painting, Dennis can often be found with a pencil or brush in his hands. Dennis Mwangi has a unique style and he was the brains behind the COVID-19 awareness painting created last year which he collaborated with Mercy to create. This art stole the hearts of everybody and it hangs proudly in our office reception area at the home. Guests visiting the office always stop to marvel at it, especially when they learn that it was done by our children.
Tony’s sketching talents
Anthony Mungai is the pencil sketch artist. One of the most beautiful pencil sketches he drew was one of a lion head, which is simply amazing. The level of detail, care and attention that went into this drawing was remarkable. Tony is a multi-talented young man who loves to work his hands.
Caricatures for George and Francis
Like Tony’s love for sketching, George Ngugi also loves putting pencil to paper and drawing cartoon characters. George has a sweet personality with a keen interest in learning, so being close with Tony has certainly encouraged a creative flair which is great to see between the two of them. Francis Munene also loves cartoons and his favourite character is Casper.
Rug Making, weaving and drawing
Mary Wanjiku is a fan of nature and she loves drawing flowers. She is also gifted in weaving and rug making, just like Issa, Baraka, Mary Waithera, Margaret and Charles who can often be found being creative with beads and making rugs.
Sharing Creative Moments From Kitalale
In our Kitalale home, our aunty, Gloria, Lilian, Rebecca, Petty, Rose and Susan are always encouraging our children to be creative and explore their skills. Our aunts and uncles do such an amazing job organising, teaching new skills and motivating the kids to do their best.
Our Kitalale home has diverse creative minds emanating from our talented staff. Meet some of our children who are excited to share their creative flair!
Mechanics in the making
Philip and Meshack are both fascinated by mechanics and engineering. You will often find them making toy cars and planes. Meshack is a huge fan of aeroplanes. He can usually be found wearing a toy pilot headset or ‘flying’ a toy aeroplane. Philip’s love for this drives him to sketch cars, planes and other machinery.
Drawing and painting Mickey Mouse
Abigael is a huge fan of Mickey Mouse and any opportunity she gets, Abigael will be drawing or painting Mickey.
While the children were out of school due to COVID-19, our Kitalale aunts and uncles organised a trip for the children to visit where pottery clay is mined. During their visit, the children got to experience mining the clay themselves, sourcing it, digging it, and working with it. They had the opportunity to bring clay home with them and the children thrived in moulding some interesting shapes, animals, and objects from the clay. This opportunity was so unique and exciting for the children that Oliver Kibet, James, Kevin Korir, Ivy, Viola, and Esther all took a shining to pottery.
Kevin the sketch artist
Kevin’s ability to capture details using his pencil when sketching is remarkable. He loves sketching cars, nature and can use his imagination to develop abstract sketches.
Hair braiding experts
Viola and Solphine have been keen to learn braiding hair. They practice braiding each other’s hair and use any opportunity they can to practice their braiding skills. They learn from watching the aunts braid, and help each other develop their skills.
Moses’ beaded bracelets
Moses Kemboi has a passion for making beaded bracelets. So far, he holds the record for making the most bracelets in a week! Moses made personalized bracelets for our staff, which were so gratefully received. The thoughtfulness and personalization that went into making each individual bracelet was heartwarming.
Back in November, we held a virtual event for our extended family across the globe, and our children worked together to make 100 bracelets for the attendee’s of the event. Their talents never cease to amaze us.
Importance of Creativity at Children of Hope
As you can see from our talented children, creativity is at the heart of what we encourage at both our homes. We strive to create an environment which continues to encourage creativity. We have walls of the gathering spaces at our homes filled with artwork, murals and some wall hangings. Our recent project of creating gratitude hearts, where our children highlighted things they are grateful for, hangs proudly in our gathering spaces in both homes.
At our Kitalale Home, we had an artist paint a huge mural of the Noah’s Ark with a bug verse from Genesis 8:1‘But God remembered Noah and all that were with him in the ark’.
This communicates such a powerful message of God’s love of remembering His loved ones.
There is also a section of it with a huge mural which depicts the African Savannah with all the beautiful wild animals roaming in the wild. This sends a powerful message of God’s creation and creates a sense of security and love.
At Kikuyu, the beautiful African wildlife dominates the murals but there are several scriptures beneath each which communicate messages of Hope and God’s promise of good things for His loved ones. We long for our children to continue to feel this security and love within our homes.