Thursday, December 9, 2010

Central American Themed Art Session Fundraiser

When I found out that I was accepted for the Spring Expedition to Costa Rica & Nicaragua, as well as achieving the Graduate Bursary Award, this gave me a great feeling of accomplishment. However, I had not quite reached my end goal with the next challenge being the fundraising.

I have fundraised for numerous organisations such as Oxfam, Cancer Research, The Anthony Nolan Trust and other local groups. However, advertising to others to help fund my expedition brought some scepticism, as many weren’t convinced that their money would genuinely go towards a good cause.

My thoughts were ‘how can I make others understand that my commitments are truly to help others and emphasise that this expedition was NOT A HOLIDAY!’

On first instance, I contacted my previous educational establishments with a covering letter suggesting an offered service supported by a personal leaflet. The latter was aimed to capture the attention of the reader by providing a summary of my efforts.

Consequently I was contacted by my previous high school, Harvington School, where I was Head Girl in 2003 and which has now converted solely into a preparatory school. I offered to provide a Costa Rica & Nicaraguan art session for the pupils and in return they would hold a non-uniform day to raise some funds. The inspiration for this idea was due to my awe of the colourful artwork from Central America and I needed to provide a fun activity to cater for the young students.

On 24th November 2010, I prepared a PowerPoint Presentation for the morning assembly so the children could understand the purpose of my visit. Using the much loved cartoon characters, Handy Manny and Dora the Explorer, I explained the details of my expedition making statements such as ‘like Manny I will be building things’ and ‘like the inquisitive Dora I will be learning a new culture’.

Later in the day, I hosted three art sessions for Years 3, 4, 5 and 6, with great emphasis on shapes and bright colours as the theme. Using my own art work as examples, I demonstrated how to get a similar look with poster paints. The students thoroughly enjoyed themselves as they expressed their creative side during the art sessions and overall appreciated the need to help others especially those less fortunate than them.

My local paper, the Gazette, covered this particular fundraising venture. The article enabled others to understand the extent of my passion, and possibly encourage donations to help reach my offline target by contacting me via email (jakhyarahman@hotmail.com).