The first “by art we live” package is on its way to Safari in Congo!
Safari is one of the child artists profiled by “by art we live” and his story is one that moved me so greatly. Safari (a self chosen name) is a 17 year old demobilized child soldier in the DRC. I met him back in October with the great assistance of UNICEF and MONUC in a center for demobilized child soldiers in Goma. It was during a trip that I took looking for child artists in a beautiful African county ravaged by war. Safari was kidnapped from his home by the armed forces and was made into a child soldier against his will. The experience left him like other child soldiers devastated and emotionally fragile. He is a child who had seen too much and done many unnatural things.
I met Safari through “art” and I met “art” through him. Through painting he found his happy place, a place where he can be a child again, dream again, find hope and inspiration again. He loves color, painting, drawing and being in a state of peace that art allows him.
The UNICEF office in Kinshasa is being kind enough to facilitate the arrival of this first care package to Safari’s hands.