Thursday, June 17, 2010
My sister and I just returned from a two week venture to Kenya doing a large mural project and art therapy with CTC International (www.ctcinternational.org). As we were debriefing one night after a long day's work in Maai Mahiu, Kenya, I feel like God nudged me, and reminded me this: In this trip, He was fulfilling what I believe He had promised me years ago. And that is, that I would go to the nations with my paintbrush.
Of course, the past several years, we have been going to Haiti to do a similar thing we did with CTC. However, 36 hours of travel one way and CTC itself took it to a whole 'notha level.
My heart has indeed been reminded of the vastness of His promise. Of course, Jesus is enough. Period. There is something though about fulfilling God's call. Doing His workmanship that He knew long before. I was reminded of that too in this trip.
Here are some pictures and some blurbs about the mural project.
The mural tells a progressive story of CTC's mission for holistic development its five initiatives of education, environment, economy, community and health. It is a mural that specifically speaks to the women and children of the community about empowerment. The mural itself coincided with a seminar for women who participated in art therapy and teaching on empowerment from a clinical psychologist. (Approximately 50 feet long and about 12 feet high.)
The mural began on the far left with the CTC International logo, which the five fingers of the hand all interconnected represent the interconnectedness of the 5 initiatives of CTC: environment, education, economy, community and health. The thumb spirals into a thread, a common tie in the mural to represent interconnectedness.
"Ubuntu" translates "I am because we are." The women from the seminar painted this word in purple to symbolize their empowerment. In the art therapy sessions, we discussed the meaning of colors, and then used colors to express various feelings. Purple symbolized the diva in they ladies. Above the word, you see the symbol CTC uses to communicate the progression of life transformation through their work. It then spins off to a thread and needle, pointing to a sewing machine, which is a form of economy they have developed for the women in the community.
The initiative of economy is represented in the sewing machine. The Malaika Mums sew by day, while their children with various disabilities, attend school there. The initiative of community is represented in the scene of the town--the mountains in the background, the CTC center, and the Matatus driving down the road (also known as the AIDS highway and the most significant road for economy in Kenya).
Throughout the mural, there are five threads, to represent the five initiatives and how they are all connected. There are also phrases written in English and Swahili. Across the top is written a quote by MLK, Jr.
This is a scene of the Malaika kids and their teachers in school to represent the Education initiative. They are dancing, to represent that education is more than just memorizing and textbook. It is also care and nuturing for these children with disabilities, who before CTC, received little of that.
This scene represents the Environment initiative. It shows the grandmothers of the community working in the gardens that CTC has started with them. The tree represents life in the background.
Lastly, this woman represents the initiative of Health. Her eyes are closed and there is a swirl that comes from her mind's eye, to represent a woman with hope, imagination, dreams,freedom and empowerment. Health being more than physical needs met, it is also mental, social, emotional, and spiritual needs met as well. The most significant moment was watching a woman paint in "Uhuru" (Swahili for freedom), a woman who had shown there was much fear, danger and darkness in her life through the art therapy.