How much would one auction these drawings for? No money could buy them, because they represent something much deeper than art investment, and which galleries and experts would not understand.
These were only a few gifts from the 5* school children in the Karachi slums. They were generous givings a from those who have so little, yet expect nothing material in return – only our smile and appreciation.
For this reason, the least artistic green drawing in the middle is my favourite. This little girl was patiently waiting to give it to me, but I missed her. Then I noticed her walking away looking upset – lips down. I called her back and thanked for her lovely present, then she smiled and hopped away cheerfully!
How do we capture and demonstrate needs to staff in new and particularly existing orphanages? They are difficult to define and are strongly related to attitudes, even when physical care is adequate.
So, it is a long process with perseverance from the providing or other responsible agency. Strategies have to include organisational, staff recruitment, training, and environmental improvements; as well as external links and supports. Crucially, these are all strongly interlinked. Having toys is not enough unless adults use them with the children or encourage their functional use.
The wonderful creativity and potential of these girls in North Pakistan ultimately brings us to the only question: “if would we not accept something for our own children, why should we accept it for someone else’s child?”
Ideally the earlier educational and therapeutic provision are set up when a care home is set up, the better. Influences can thus go well beyond work with the children, across the environment, staff recruitment and retention, openness to external agencies, and children’s life quality.
So, it was refreshing to join Sajida and Sukaina from the Hussaini Foundation at this new Karachi orphanage in Karachi. They are building up these four girls nicely for school (one had never attended by the age of 12) . The girls were so proud to show me their progress!