Colorful Dreams

By Farah Mhanna, Cohort 6 Fellow

May 18th, 2015

Nader Association is an orphanage that aims to protect and educate children with serious social problems. These children are at risk of delinquency, and this association provides them with shelter and care. When I first came to Nader Association, I noticed the aggressive attitude of most of the students. This is because they come from a difficult socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. Some students are orphans, others live at the orphanage because their parents can’t afford taking care of them.

As a Teach For Lebanon Fellow, my mission is to help these children not only on the academic level, but on the human level as well.

To enhance their sense of creativity, I decided to lead a painting project “Paint and Learn” to help the students change their vision towards the world and towards the core values in life. I wanted them to see the colorful side of life.

Together we painted the school playground walls with colorful drawings about the values, and I gave the students the opportunity to unleash their imagination and to participate in decorating their playground ( stairs, wheels)

I have planned and managed the project, and with the collaboration of the talented artists team of AIE Tripoli club, the project was successfully implemented.

The school administration was unable to cover the costs of the project, and I had no time to find a fundraiser. I decided to take charge of the financial support.

It was the first time I see my students energetic and enthusiastic about something. There weren’t fights during the recess. They were playing together or looking at the painted walls and discussing the paintings. It was the first time I felt that I could really touch their minds.

Every long-term impact needs time to be noticed. I think I have taken the right decision when I  chose the colors to be the seeds of happiness and hope for children.