frugalis creativus

Interview with Summerlynn, African Youth Coordinator

Question from Karim:

Summerlynn, can you please tell me about your recent trip to Ghana in which you did drawing projects with school children like Aysha?

Aysha selling pure water in Ghana

Aysha is a girl in Accra, the capital of Ghana, who is about 14 years old and goes to school. After school she sells pure water which is small plastic bags of sealed hygenic drinking water that sell for about 5 cents a bag. People buy these 5 cent water bags because the water that comes out of the tap in many places in Ghana is not healthy to drink.

Typically, between about 3pm and 5pm after school, Aysha will go over to the community basketball court and sell pure water to the athletes.

Then, she will go over to the local community dance center, where she loves to dance with other children. This is a make-shift center where a group of adults and children will bring along drums and improvise while they play them and the rest of the children will dance to the music.

It was at this informal dance area that I also taught drawing classes.

I would bring colored pencils and paper and we would do self-portraits using mirrors. Once we ran out of mirrors and supplies I brought large sheets of paper and we all drew together on the large reams of paper.

My aspiration was that we could one day work toward making community murals to cheer up the neighborhood.

Summerlynn working with the schoolchildren in Ghana

For now, I just wanted to inspire them to be creative and express that creativity through drawings. Most of the drawings were pencil drawings and the children drew a lot of self-portraits which we then used to put together an outdoor gallery at the school to display their artwork.

It was important for me that they displayed the results of their creative pencil drawings so that they could share the joy of these artworks with their friends, teachers, parents and local community.


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