This blog was written by Clemence Tshilomba Ngandu, volunteer
I believe we’re meant to be apart of the world but not of it. We’re meant to let our uniqueness and individual personalities drive us to excel at our fullest potentials. To love ourselves, as well as others unconditionally despite their flaws. To inspire and be inspired, and eventually, grow into the man or woman we were destined to be. But all those things are easier said then done. To be being yourself is easier said then done. In a world that’s constantly dismaying you by telling you “you can’t” or “you shouldn’t” or “that was never meant for you”, it’s easy to get discouraged and go through the motions of sadness and low-self esteem.
But at times, I think we forget that we aren’t alone in this feeling and that the world isn’t as awful as one might think. There are also outlets and people who want nothing more than see you grow as a person and excel! To see you expand your horizons, to challenge you, to see the world through the eyes of someone else, to show you that you are not alone despite how you might feel. And I believe that outlets like Art for AIDS International do this beautifully.
For the duration of a workshop hosted by Art for AIDS International, people of all ages, whether they are a young child, a student volunteer or an adult can come together and are educated and exposed to the reality of HIV and AIDS and those it affects. Through the medium of art, people partaking in the workshop(s) are then left to express themselves and how they feel about what they’ve been taught through different artistic methods such as finger painting and unique collages. For an hour or two of that day, there is no pressure to meet an ideal or to try and produce a piece of artwork that will be critiqued or judged. For an hour or two, you can let your imagination run wild and let your thoughts and feelings come to life; no strings attached.
There is a great freedom in not being told what to do. At these workshops, Hendrikus pairs art with HIV and AIDS awareness in a way that will resonate with a variety of people all over the world. At Art for AIDS International, our goal is educate people about the epidemic of HIV and AIDS through art. But it doesn’t just stop there. Art for AIDS International also strives to expose unlocked potential, to show people from all walks of life that they are valued and can make a difference. Whether they cut and paste or host their own workshops; their role in the world, whether big or small matters. Many times we see beauty in others and other things that we forget to see in ourselves. On top of spreading HIV and AIDS awareness, Art for AIDS International reminds us that there is beauty in all things, including ourselves.
– Clemence Ngandu