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June 7th 2007
Published: June 7th 2007
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Art ClassArt ClassArt Class

Sarah with the children, even Co Chau one of our teachers was engrossed in the project!
Earlier this year, we were fortunate to have a very enthusiastic volunteer who came to Hoi An to run an art program with the children at the Lifestart Foundation Free School. Sarah, a teacher from Melbourne, came to Hoi An armed with bags of art materials purchased through the donations of her friends and family. The materials she brought were really good quality, which were a joy for the children to work with.

Sarah was keen to set up a “beautiful” space for the children to explore their creative time. She went to great lengths to decorate the designated art area—each day, her class was decorated with bright colours, a lovely colourful table cloth, and fresh flowers. The children really appreciated her efforts.

Many of the children had never even held coloured pencils prior to attending the Lifestart Foundation Free School, let alone used a paint brush. Although attendance of the two-week art class was voluntary, Sarah had a great turn-out—you could hear a pin drop at times as the children enthusiastically engaged in the art activities!

The chance to spend time in a safe, fun environment experimenting with art ideas is so valuable and beneficial on

Nga lives on a tiny boat ( 1 metre x 4 metres) with seven members of her family. She works on the street at night and attends Lifestart Foundation School during the day.
many levels for these children, who spend a good amount of their time playing or working in the streets. (For some, the experience is almost meditative!) The children engaged in a wide range of art concepts with beautiful results, lots of mess, and lots of laughter. And of course, part of the experience included cleaning up!

In 2006, we were fortunate to have another special art teacher volunteer for Lifestart: Sherry, from Philadelphia, USA. Sherry taught the children different types of projects and activities than Sarah, but the end result was the same: the children explored a wide variety of creative tasks with loads of enjoyment and fulfillment.

Sherry has just returned to the U.S. after another volunteering trip, this time to Uganda, where she again weaved her magic over the children in Africa. A little bird tells me that she may revisit our Lifestart School in 2008. We have our fingers crossed!

(Visit one of Sherry's journals: Teaching A Little Class)

We were certainly very lucky to have these two talented women share their “gifts” with our children at the Lifestart Foundation Free School. Some of the activities the children enjoyed included decorating wooden dolls to represent themselves, creating moveable mannequins, pattern-making with sponge rollers, lots of free-painting and drawing, ‘lead-lighting’ using cellophane, and painting on canvas. The children’s artwork now decorates the new Lifestart Foundation Free School, which was built by the local government and officially opened in April 2007. More on the new school in a forthcoming blog............

Lots of Love from Karen.


The Lifestart Foundation Dinner Dance / Charity Auction will be held on July 28th, please see the Lifestart website events page for all details. Simply click on our website link in the paragraph above.

This is a great night and an event where Lifestart Foundation really needs your support. If you have not already got your tickets please get in contact and come along and be part of Lifestart's annual fundraiser. A big thank you to all who have donated to our Silent Auction.

Additional photos below
Photos: 11, Displayed: 11



Tuan was extremely introverted when I first met him. The experience of being able to attend Lifestart School and be involved in special projects like "art class" has allowed him to blossom.

Lien lives in a house devoid of any colour or stimulation, she was completely absorbed in art classes.

"Leadlighting Class"

Completely absorbed in her project.

Phuc is Nga's brother, he also lives in the same tiny boat with six others. It was interesting to see how many "real houses" he depicted in his art work.

17th July 2007

Thanks for the joy you bring to these children. I've been to Hoi An and several other parts of Vietnam and I know the difficulties of many families. It is wonderful to think that these children have some opportunity to explore colour and beauty in such a creative way.

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