My name is Chrissy Foreman C and I'm volunteering with Cultural Canvas Thailand (CCT) within their Canvas Art Program (CAP).
Back at home I work as a community artist for schools, government organsations, community centres, disability services etc etc.
One of my tasks with CCT so far has been to help introduce a new art program at a place called Baan Piranan, which is a small organisation staffed by 1 amazing woman, who cares for with 3 children with Cerebral Palsy. All 3 boys have been relocated to the Baan Piranan (BP) respite centre due to a disadvantaged start to their first 12 years of life. These boys are the lucky ones, and there are countless others who may never get such an opportunity in their lives.
Places like Baan Piranan are few and far between here in Thailand, as there is little education about the disease, no schools for these children, and very few services offered for people with a disability such as Cerebral Palsy (CP). In fact, many people would not feel safe to come into contact with someone who has CP in case they 'catch' it.
So on the upside, my job was to devise a session plan to introduce paint to the boys at BP for the very first time in their lives.
The session basically consist of introducing paintbrushes, paint, rollers and paper to the 3 boys, and adapting the art tools as required so that the boys can grasp them effectively (as people with CP can have less muscle control) . For example, one boy has been lying in a bamboo cage his whole life and therefore only now learning to sit up by himself without support, so he required hands on support to undertake the activity.
Overall it was a wonderful experience. The boys' eyes lit up when they could see the concept of splashing colour across a previously blank space to create something new. All 3 of them really 'got into it', and we're already planning a second workshop next week to involve the boys in a mural for the BP centre. Will keep you posted!