Sunday, September 4, 2011

Hope Home

As Art Director and Volunteer Coordinator at ARI, I get the wonderful opportunity to work with loads of volunteers coming to us from all over the world. Each one brings with them unique skills, talents, ideas and their own special perspective of the world. What fascinates me is the transformation that each one of the volunteers goes through while working with the children at Hope Home. 

Hope Home is a foster home for Thai children with severe Cerebral Palsy. In Thailand, disabilities are largely misunderstood due to the lack of education. Many times the child's inability to walk or talk or interact with the world "normally" only goes to reinforce the believe that they are less than human. 

Each week I watch as our volunteers walk through the Hope Home gates and see these small children largely immobile and silent staring back at them with the most expressive eyes. When we take them into our arms and lean them against our chests so that they can feel the vibrations of our singing and encourage them to move their arms and legs to the songs, their faces break out into the biggest, most beautiful smiles. 

I watch each volunteer transform in their own small way as well, as they work with the children. From fear and uncertainty to love and enjoyment, they walk out with a new love and respect for the endearing spirits of these bright and loving children. With each painting, each art piece, we demonstrate that these children are just as human as you and me. That they feel happiness, sadness, hurt and pain. That a small touch or a song can brighten their worlds and that love goes a long long way!

Let me introduce you to these amazing children!

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