Children and Arts Program volunteers at Qaqambani

School vacations, while welcomed by students and teachers alike, can often lead to boredom when children are not provided with constructive activities to fill their days. This past June and July, CHOSA hosted a Summer School Program for the students at Qaqambani Safe Home and Abaphumeleli Children’s Home. CHOSA facilitated volunteers from the U.S. in overseeing a fun and educational curriculum of creative arts for the children. Most of the children at Qaqambani and Abaphumeleli are not offered art class in their schools due to a lack of resources and the perception amongst policymakers that an arts-based education is superfluous. Thus, the program filled an important gap in their education. As the volunteers completed various art projects with the children, they were pleasantly surprised by the number of budding young artists in their midst! The program gave these children the chance to display and develop their gifts, which had been stifled simply due to a lack of opportunity. CHOSA is determined to help our partner organizations continue to offer arts-based programming to their children, since it is clearly an area of interest and talent, and is essential to teaching children how to learn. While most children are taught simply to memorize facts in school, arts education stimulates a creative, exploratory process by which children learn to process the world around them and express themselves in meaningful ways. The program proved to be unforgettable for both the children and the volunteers. One volunteer, Nicole, shared that “my experience with CHOSA was life-changing. Witnessing the resilience and compassion of the mothers who take in the children was humbling and inspiring. I had an incredible time working with the children and will carry the memories with me for the rest of my life.” We hope that the volunteer program will continue to not only help the children, but also to educate and inspire the volunteers as well.