Monday, June 29, 2015

South Australian 'Art From The Heart' to raise much-needed funds for poverty-stricken Indian schools

Jan Carey stands in front of some of the students' artwork.
PHOTO: Help-A-School Foundation director and Trinity Gardens Primary School principal Jan Carey in front of a selection of students' work donated to the fundraiser. (891 ABC Adelaide: Brett Williamson)


More than 350 students and 18 artists are creating artworks destined for auction to help raise money to purchase much-need equipment for poverty-stricken schools in rural India.
Jan Carey created the Help-A-School Foundation after she visited India on holidays and witnessed first-hand the disparities in the levels of equipment available for Indian and Australian schools.
There's no tables, there's no chairs and most of the schools I went to didn't even have mats for the kids. They were sitting on concrete floors all day.
Help-A-School Foundation director Jan Carey
Art From The Heart was a project developed by Ms Carey — who is also the principal of Trinity Gardens School — to raise funds to purchase essential school equipment for schools in Vellore and Edayanchavady Village in the Tamil Nado province of southern India.
"When you see schools over there with so little, it just inspired me to ask 'what could my school and other schools do to get involved to help?'," Ms Carey said.
On her return Ms Carey set about creating letter writing exchanges between schools, with students learning about rural India and joining in on fundraising activities to purchase student desks and seats, school resources and raise money for a girls' home at the Karunalaya orphanage.
"I went to three different little village schools in India and they basically had nothing," Ms Carey said.
With government funding providing buildings and staff, local communities are then left to their own devices.
"The children from years one to five actually sit on the floor; there's no tables, there's no chairs and most of the schools I went to didn't even have mats for the kids," Ms Carey said.
"They were sitting on concrete floors all day."
Text books are recycled from year to year and students are provided with one set of uniforms at the beginning of the year, but it does not dampen the children's spirits.
"The children there are just so excited to be at school and see education as a real way forward," Ms Carey said.
Since November last year Ms Carey has raised almost $7,000 of her $15,000 goal for the Indian schools, and the Art From The Heart project is expected to add thousands to the total.

What are you grateful for?

Fourteen school classes from Angaston, East Adelaide, Echunga, Stradbroke and Trinity Gardens and 18 professional artists have contributed to the Art From The Heart project.
Together they have produced more than 350 pieces based on the topic 'Gratitude'.
The 350 primary school students were asked to create pieces to resemble what they were grateful for.
"The kids have been so excited, so engaged and so proud of themselves that they can actually contribute and make a difference," Ms Carey said.
It is hoped the 18 works donated to the project by local artists will help bolster fundraising efforts from an online auction.
Artists and students were also asked to write a passage to explain their creation and reveal what they had chosen to show gratitude for.
All pieces donated by local artists are available for purchase at the foundation's Gratitude Art Auction site, with bidding closing at 9:00pm AEST, Tuesday June 30.
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