Today we painted a mural with the help of the kids at the OVC centre in Cabrini. This has been the highlight of our trip and we can’t wait to finish tomorrow. Upon arrival we were welcomed by a crowd of smiling children, after which we were introduced to Sister Diana, whom along with other Sisters, run the center by raising funds, looking after the children, and acting as mothers for them. Sister Diane went on to tell us that Swaziland has a population of 1 million people. Half of the population is under the age of fifteen and out of the 500 000 children, 250 000 are living with HIV/AIDS. Anti retro viral drugs were only made available in rural communities in 2006. Sister Diane fears that the harsh reality is that Swaziland has very little hope to exist as a nation if the current health/political/poverty situation stays the way it is.
With this mural, we wanted to give children the opportunity to practice their creativity and to stimulate imagination. Something some of them have never had the opportunity to do before. We distributed brushes and paint to the children and the sight that followed left us in awe. Children working together, enjoying themselves, freeing their minds and loving the painting process. Within a few hours the children’s hostels were transformed with vibrant colours and shapes.
At the end of the day we shared our Write on Africa philosophy with Sister Diane. We went on to explain that inspiration was our simple intention. She admitted that she didn’t feel that a mural was a direct need for the children. But after experiencing the energy of the day, she was rejuvinated and left with a feeling of positivity and hope within their present reality.
We look forward to tomorrow’s painting.
Mural half way complete