CONGO TRIP - January 2009
In preparing for my trip to Congo, I felt it was imperative to learn as much about the culture as humanly possible. The key to these workshops succeeding is to be well informed and immensely respectful of other cultures. I also didn't want to take anything that might possibly put the kids in any imminent danger – hence, the idea of scrapbooks.
Students from LA’s Inner-City Arts constructed a scrapbook, including a self-portrait on the first page. When we arrived in the DRC, we took pictures of the refugee children and placed it into their scrapbooks, leaving blank pages for them to write or draw in later, and attaching a string with a pencil – something kids here take for granted but a precious tool to a Congolese child. Not only were the children provided with a keepsake, but also they had their own special journal to catalog their thoughts, drawings, etc. When we passed out the scrapbooks, the children's expressions could have lit up the White House Christmas tree. Pure joy... Pure happiness…