November 9, 2021
This picture says a lot. It was painted by one of the kids in the Kickstart Art programme supported by SpinningTop. The children were asked to draw what their town looked like. When you look closely, the details tell a harrowing story. The river is the border between Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand. The military is fighting and bombing. Covid is on the rise – and the kids know it.
Kickstart Art provides art education and art therapy for migrant students along the Thai/Myanmar border. Our partner charity, SpinningTop, has been working with Kickstart Art since 2014 and helps to fund their running costs, art material and teachers’ salaries.
Migrant artist, John Khai, is Programme Director is at Kickstart Art. He has trained other artists from Myanmar as teachers in the Thai border town of Maesot. Prior to the Covid outbreak, they were teaching around 1500 students at 14 schools on either side of the border.
Kickstart Art’s lessons are not focused on traditional technical skills. Instead, they aim to encourage creativity, problem-solving, self-expression, experiential learning and play. This focus helps students develop both their cognitive skills and the resilience to help deal with the psychological effects associated with displacement and/or socio-economic disadvantages.
Recently Kickstart Art started their new generation project. Their aim is to train teachers who have previously been students. Their mission is to create a better future for communities from Myanmar through art.
The situation in Myanmar is bad at the moment. In the midst of a military takeover of government, they are facing a devastating third wave of Covid and experiencing the worst flooding in years. Yet this project remains active, positive, and is building hope and creativity for the children.
Words and images by SpinningTop's Annie Fischer
Support SpinningTop with your 1%
1% of the average Kiwi's income is just $10 per week but that $10 goes a long way on the Thai/Myanmar border where SpinningTop is providing a little more balance in the lives of vulnerable children. Support SpinningTop with your 1%.JOIN the collective NOW