Mural Painting at ABC Statton Foundation

Hi my name is Sille, I'm a new volunteer at Art relief International. I have only been here a week, but all I can say is, that it's an amazing project.

On Wednesday and Thursday we went to paint a mural at ABC Stratton Foundation. The playground is finished and looks great, although there isn't any grass on the hill because the dogs managed to get in and run tear it up.

On Wednesday we went there to draw the sketches of Nicola's final design, a design that is made using the drawings from the Stratton kids and ARI - A few weeks ago we went there to come up with ideas for the mural painting. Asking them to draw their fantasy jungle. At first we started out by dividing the mural into meter squares, so it would be eaiser to make the sketch. The kids helped and we sketched the mural onto the wall using pencils, looking closely at Nicola's design. The kids really loved Nicola's design, and they were looking forward to having a painted mural.

After we had drawn the pencil sketches we decided to outline all the animals in black, all the green parts in green, all the flowers in white and the trees in light brown, just to make everything ready for Thursday, when the students from the Canadian International school Singapore would come to help paint the mural. We also decided to do the outlines in case it started to rain. Which there is definately was a chance of because it has rained for the last few days

On Thursdy we started out with a name-game and others, like the newspaper game and a balloon relay race.We wanted to get the international students and the Stratton kids to interact and work together. It was really fun, it was great to see how well the kids got on and helped eachother. After the ice-breaker games we divided all the kids into two groups. One group started painting the mural and the other group created wallets or small purses made out of newspaper strips. The newspaper wallets were made by weaving the strips together into a small square. After the kids finished the weaving, they put stickytape on both sides of the square to laminate and cover the newspaper. Then they folded it into half added stickytape to the sides and then folded into half again, adding velcro at the end to make the wallet or purse close and lock.


After lunch the two groups changed projects, so the one who started out painting made the wallets and vice versa. When the second group had finished making wallets they went back to help everyone paint. It was great to see how they all helped oneanother with both the wallet making and painting the mural. They all worked really hard and were interested in both projects.

The mural is finished and it looks really amazing. Now we just need to get the grass to grow.

Bye Sille


Thank you for supporting our campaign!

Before the Songkran holiday we started our first crowdfunding campaign on IndiGoGo. Our goal is to expand the Young Lions Global Arts project to reach out to Burmese migrant youth living in local construction camps and slums. Thanks to the hard work of Jessica Lander and our ARI volunteers we have the foundations for a great art program that not only teaches children about the World, but also gives them the opportunity for creative exploration, fun, and friendship building. 

Our aim with this campaign is to raise $5000 to buy materials, transporation and provide outreach to youth living in area constructions camps who do not have the means or opporutnity to attend school or extracurricular activities.

Thanks to the generous support of friends, family and past volunteers we have already raised $840! Hooray! I would like to take this opportunity to thank each person who has contributed to our project, so here is a HUGE Thank You to:
Claire Harrison Lambe, Raya Hegeman-Davis, Jade Floyd, Phoebe Ward, Lisa Offringa, Kate Walsh, Lori Damon, Robert Cameron Wolfe, Susan Gottlieb, Siobhan  Doyle, FA Shrapnel, Manu Beyer,  Jacqueline Yarosky, Marion Ackerman, Maria Miranda O'Sullivan, Kathryn Silver, and two anonymous donors.
 It is always really inspiring to see how people come together to support a cause and how generous people can be. We really believe in the projects that we do and we truly thank you for believing in them too! We couldn't do it without you!

If you would like to check out the progress of our campaign please visit: http://www.indiegogo.com/Young-Lions-Global-Art-Project-1

All the best,
Art Director


Wildflower - Dream Catchers

Yesterday was our first session back at Wildflower after the holidays celebrating Songkran. The kids were intrigued to see what we had brought in our box this week. We showed them the dream catcher that Nicola had made and one of the girls said ‘it was to keep ghosts away.’ She wasn’t far off.

Firstly we discussed if they had bad dreams and how they got rid of them. We showed them some images and then got to work explaining how to make the dream catchers. As I demonstrated how to tie the string around the hoop the kids started copying whatever I said. So we had a group of children chanting ‘over, under, through’. They understood the method of the knots pretty quickly, though you could tell the difference between the girls and boys. The technique was far more natural for the girls to do.

After they had completed their web -for the bad dreams to be caught on - it was time to choose the beads to fix on. They added string to dangle down from the web for the good dreams to flow down and reach them whilst sleeping. The dream catchers looked great and I was very impressed by the kids’ concentration. Hopefully the dream catchers will give them good dreams from now on.

We are all looking forward to next Tuesday.


Mural designs, Pompom making and an afternoon performance

We went to the Stratton ABC Foundation to meet the kids for two days last week. On Wednesday we asked them to draw their fantasy jungle. We are going to use their designs to paint the wall of the playground. 

Normally we only work with the younger Stratton kids, but on Wednesday the older boys joined in too and they really enjoyed drawing jungle pictures. All of the kids made really nice and fantastic drawings.

After they had finished I showed them how to make Pompoms. At the beginning it took a long time to complete one Pompom, but after the first they loved the outcome so they started straight with the next and this time it was easier for them. We made these Pompoms for the next day, as costumes for the planned performance.

When we arrived on Thursday the first thing I saw were a lot of Pompoms in the girls’ hair, which they had produced without us later on the Wednesday. It is a great feeling to show the kids things they also enjoy to producing for themselves. 

While the volunteer’s and staff from ARI worked on the playground, PBut and I prepared the kids for their small performance. We looked for costumes, practiced the dance again and prepared a stage. Then we all came together and they showed us what they had practiced and worked on. The kids were really excited because it was their first performance in front of other people. They did a really good job, got a lot of applause and for the bigger performance they won’t be so nervous.
It was my last day with the Kids from Stratton and I am so sad that I won’t have a chance to see them again. I didn’t realize this on Thursday so it wasn’t a real Goodbye.
I can’t imagine that after we have spent so much time together I won’t see them again. I will miss them so much…
I hope I can visit them if I come back to Thailand! 
Bye Annika

Birds at Wildflower!

Watching six cute kids dressed up like birds and dancing to the chicken dance was one of the best moments we experienced during our workshops at wildflower home. This happened last Friday at the end of our workshop.  The bird masks were already made in the lesson on Tuesday so there were just the bird wings missing to complete their bird costumes.
When we arrived they already waiting for us hugging Kirstyn before she was able to enter the classroom. We prepared everything for the following hour and let the kids draw pictures about the jungle into their booklets. We saw monkeys, snakes, tigers, huge trees and waterfalls, which they later drew on the feathers they cut out from plain sheets of paper. The feathers were made for their bird wings. We had already cut out some colourful feathers before the workshop started and we also prepared some lengths of materials, sewing elastic on them, so that the kids could wrap them around their arms. The kids had to stick all the feathers onto the material in the way the wanted too. That was a bit stressful. Annika wasn’t there - doing her visa run on that day - so it was just Kirstyn and me. But we managed everything, glad to have such patient and nice kids to work with. At the end every kid wore their mask and wings so we had a colourful crowd of birds surrounding us. After dancing with them to the chicken dance we are excited for our next workshop with them!

Bye, Nicola :)