Can art save the children?
For the children of Leyte, it sure can.
“Magpaila-ila sa ta (Introduce yourselves),” a young man told a crowd of children. Dominico Gapas is a 20-something social worker at Save the Children. He and his team are cultivating the minds of over 60 children through art.
Music played as children busied themselves with crayons, using each other’s backs as an easel. “Draw your partner’s face,” Gapas said. “Then ask them about their dreams.” The icebreaker ended in laughter and rows of colorful faces paired with dreams like “Good education,” “A good job in the future,” “For children to be happy.”
Can you help us make these children’s wishes come true?
The workshop, dubbed as “ArtVocacy,” aims to transform children into advocates and youth leaders.
Learning need not be boring. Instead of plainly teaching children about their rights, Gapas encourages children to express themselves, their aspirations and advocacies through painting, photography, journalism, and theater.
The results were magical.
FUN WHILE LEARNING. Dominico Gapas facilitating the ArtVocacy workshop.
“Art can be a vehicle to achieve advocacy,” said Gapas. “Working with children, you have to start with where they’re interested in like art.”
Most of the children met at ArtVocacy for the first time. By the end of the workshop, the children left with newfound friends, talents, and lessons.
For the children, by the children
Aside from developing child advocates, ArtVocacy serves as a consultation among children.
The workshop’s outputs include Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) materials promoting children’s community participation.
To create effective IEC materials, we must first understand children. This is why Save the Children maintains inclusive programs, putting high value on children’s insights in every step of the way.
In all our projects, we see children not only as our inspiration but also as our partners and co-authors.
Such IEC materials will also raise awareness on the Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act (Republic Act 10821), which improves the care and protection of children affected by disasters.
BY THE CHILDREN. The children’s artworks will be used as information materials in explaining disaster preparedness among communities.
Save the Children has been supporting RA 10821 ever since its gestation in Congress, and we’re now looking forward to its full and effective implementation in the years to come.
Thanks to this law, children’s education will be less disrupted as their schools will no longer be used as evacuation centers. They’ll also be provided with more child-friendly learning spaces.
Together, children can boost their communities’ creativity, preparedness, and resilience.
We at Save the Children are continuously finding innovative ways to improve children’s lives.
With your support, we can empower even more children. Together, we make sure that all children reach their fullest potentials! Give today.