First Person Blog

Voices, video, and photos from Oxfam's fight against poverty

Photos from Haiti: Kids get creative

Posted by

Recently, kids living at the Petionville Club in Port-au-Prince created paintings with reused materials–part of an Oxfam program that teaches kids in Haiti’s camps about health, hygiene, and recycling.

Once an exclusive golf course, the rolling hills of the Petionville Club now house thousands of families displaced by the January earthquake. Three professional artists, two of whom live in the camp, were given the challenge of coming up with ideas for recycling common trash items to make toys. Among their ideas were these paint pots, made from recycled plastic bottles:

Photo: Jane Beesley / Oxfam
Photo: Jane Beesley / Oxfam

The artists worked closely with the children, showing them how to mix colors and make up the toys. Each child had his or her own set of pots and paints, but the activity also encouraged sharing and working together:

Chewthson Jean Baptiste and Ange Laure Bertrand create their paintings. Photo: Jane Beesley / Oxfam
Chewthson Jean Baptiste and Ange Laure Bertrand create their paintings. Photo: Jane Beesley / Oxfam

Beyond the practical lessons, the paintings also gave kids who lost their homes in the quake a chance to have fun and be creative.

“The stress from the earthquake is long-lasting,” said Sanchez Martinez Evains, one of the artists who worked with the children on their creations. “The trauma is in their—and our—heads and hearts.  This activity offers a distraction… it’s helping them, and us, to recover, to restart our lives.”

Saintelus Herby, age 13: "I drew a car... it's a Mercedes. I like them a lot." Photo: Jane Beesley / Oxfam
Saintelus Herby, age 13: "I drew a car... it's a Mercedes. I like them a lot." Photo: Jane Beesley / Oxfam

See more of the kids’ paintings here.

Read more blogs about photography.

Share this story:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *