Thursday, September 28, 2017

870 Weary

This is my 18th painting for The Innocents Project, my effort to raise awareness and funds for the Syrian and Palestinian refugees who are served by a non-profit, non-political American organization called ANERA, American Near East Refugee Aid, located in Washington DC.  ANERA provides whatever is necessary to serve the refugees---education, supplies, food, clean water systems, etc.

In April, violence erupted in the Ein El Hilweh refugee camp in Lebanon, and hundreds of families were displaced.  In August, fighting in the camp intensified and 47 families were displaced.  Six refugees were killed and 15 wounded.  ANERA provided hygiene kits, baby supplies and quilts, and distributed medical supplies to a local hospital.  The folks at ANERA are angels.

In recent weeks, we have seen massive destruction caused by hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.  The conditions in which so many people are surviving are deplorable, and surely, they will be affected for a very long time by these disasters.  

There are a lot of similarities in living conditions for the Syrian and Palestinian refugees, but their problems have existed for many, many years, and are a result of man-made complications rather than Mother Nature's wrath.  Lack of electricity, food, clothing, heat, water, education, are shared experiences with the hurricane victims, but the one difference is that that is the "normal" in their world.  

"870 Weary"
acrylic - 12x12 in

Thursday, September 7, 2017

869 Education is Key

The new school year began this week in my community and many others, and as I watched neighborhood kids trot off to school with their new paraphernalia and school clothes, I couldn't help but think of the children in Palestine and Lebanon, where education for many is not readily accessible due to poverty and conflict.  Stress and anxiety can prohibit the learning process and development for these children.

In Lebanon, not only is the economy left in turmoil by the 1.5 million Syrian refugees, but so is the education system.  But so many of the Syrian refugee children drop out of school to work to support their families, and many of them have not been enrolled in school at all.

If you have been following my blog, you may recall that I have been painting the refugee children as part of my effort called "The Innocents Project."  This is my 17th painting in the series, which I'm hoping will raise awareness of the innocent children who are caught in the middle of a turbulent situation.  (More on that in the weeks to come!)

I am also working to promote the good work of a Washington, DC headquartered organization called ANERA, American Near East Refugee Aid, a non-political, non-profit group of devoted people in the US and in the Middle East who are committed to restoring dignity to those who live in sub-human conditions.  ANERA provides early childhood education to those like this beautiful young girl, incorporating expressive arts as part of their curriculum.  For older students, they provide non-formal and flexible education to teens so that they can try to go to school and help support their families.  It is often difficult and unaffordable for the children to get transportation to schools outside of their camps, so ANERA is working to educate them in or near their camps.

ANERA seems to cover whatever is needed for the refugee families, renovating schools, improving water systems, distributing medical supplies and relief materials, including shoes and boots for children who otherwise would be barefoot.  I cannot say enough about the work they do, which is so much more than I have described here.  Check their stats and you will see.  Please consider donating to ANERA or at the very least, check out their website to learn about this crucial situation.

Thank you so much for your consideration.

"869 Education is Key"
acrylic - 12x12 in