ADRA’s Cultural Center Makes a Difference Through Art

Thirteen-year-old Samvel is an artist. He paints what he sees, and the picture becomes the scene. He paints what he imagines, and the colors and shapes blossom from the paper like lilies from a field. He has a keen eye and a sensitive spirit, and everyone agrees: Samvel is an artist.

But Samvel is also the oldest of six children in a very poor family. He has a duty to his family that cannot be supplanted by art.

By necessity, chores and work always came first, leaving little time for creativity. Even with the time he did have, his few paint supplies were old and worn with use. The sheets of paper were small and often crumpled for lack of storage space.

He still felt the immense inspiration welling in his heart, but with increasingly less time and resources to channel it. He also recognized his need for training, for someone to cultivate and direct his skill. Without the dedicated time and supplies, he could feel his talent fading.

In August of 2013, ADRA implemented a cultural center to teach cooking, knitting, and computer literacy. They also offered a course in art. Samvel enrolled in the free program and attended every class.

The access to art supplies alone was a dream come true, but the skilled art tutor providing one-on-one guidance was more than Samvel had thought possible. His creative appetite became voracious, and his talent refined and developed. With the short but focused lesson time, Samvel was able to balance both family duties and his passion for art.

The lessons inevitably ended, and Samvel could not afford to advance his skill at an art institute, but his creativity was rekindled. Though his family is still poor and his art supplies still meager, Samvel has committed to creating art as often as possible. Now his free time, rare as it is, is an opportunity to enjoy and improve his passion for art. And for that, Samvel is thankful.

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About ADRA

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency is the international humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church serving in 118 countries. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. ADRA’s purpose is to serve humanity so all may live as God intended.

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