Renowned artist creating artworks with orphan children for charity
A renowned artist will create a series of artworks with orphans from Lesotho to raise money for an international charity which provides food programmes for impoverished communities in the country.
Richard Scott is a British-born artist who lives and works in South Africa, known for his artwork he describes as ‘Naïve meets Pop Art’. He is now working in partnership with UK-based charity Msizi Africa to produce artwork for an upcoming charity auction.
Msizi Africa have been running food programmes since 2007, serving more than 2.8 million meals in the process to children. In addition to this, the charity has also built houses for vulnerable families, supplied more than 1,000 school uniforms and pay tuition fees for those who want to learn but cannot afford it.
Their latest venture involves a workshop where orphans and other children from some of Lesotho’s poorest communities will create artworks, which will then be sent to Cape Town to be embellished by Richard Scott, before being auctioned online to raise funds for the charity.
Lucy Herron, founding trustee of Msizi Africa, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Richard for getting involved. The children cannot wait to see their art combined with his to create something new and exciting.”
Richard Scott, whose work has been sold to collectors all around the world, said:
“How can you explain how cool it is to paint for a living? Even cooler than that is the feeling you get when you help other people – that’s the coolest feeling in the world. So, when Lucy Herron asked me to join her programme at Msizi Africa in Lesotho, South Africa, it was a no-brainer.
“Getting involved with the charity is an honour and helping the kids help themselves, while having fun painting, is really a special feeling. Thank you Msizi Africa for allowing me to be involved and been able to make a difference.”
Once completed, the art will be auctioned online in November. Anyone who is interested in receiving updates on availability should visit www.msiziafrica.org.uk.
Dad creates kids’ TV series to sow seeds for future generations
A first-time dad-to-be was so dismayed hearing friends complain about the children’s programmes they were forced to endure in the name of parenthood he wrote and made his own TV series.
Dom Williams, and his wife Jenny of Croydon, were expecting their first child, when he came up with the idea for Sunny Bank Allotments. It is an animated pre-school series which he wrote both as a gift to his unborn child and as an attempt to get away from the type of programmes his friends with children said they were fed up of watching.
Dom explains: “When you are expecting a first child you know people are going to warn you about the sleepless nights and the lack of time and how much life changes. But I noticed for a lot of parents one of the things that really drove them bonkers was their children’s television programmes – often with storylines that didn’t seem to promote strong family values or reflect the interests of the children I knew. Most children I know love nature, animals, the outdoors and are excited by the idea of grow your own. I was disappointed not to see any shows reflecting all these themes.
“You read all the same things online in parenting forums and there have even been polls run in national newspaper about the kids TV programmes parents hate the most –it’s a hot topic in the parenting world.”
With so many pre-school programmes on offer, Dom was disappointed to see much of what was available and while there was a variety of shows on offer, many followed the same formats and it wasn’t obvious how or if they were benefitting children’s development.
Dom started writing the storyline based around a little boy and girl who carried the names (Pippa and Barney) he and his wife had chosen for their baby before they knew what sex it would be. He worked with an illustrator to design the characters and settings, before going on to animate them and bring them to life with the help of actors who he auditioned and cast through his other business Williams Bulldog Management, a talent agency. The TV show was then made through his established production company Smart Dog Productions Ltd.
Dom, whose business is based in Beckenham, Kent said: “I hadn’t written anything like this before, but I was a very passionate parent-to-be and I wanted to produce something my child could enjoy in their early years and grow up to be proud of in later life.
“I also wanted something which was not too over the top and with voice and music which kids would enjoy, but which would not prove too grating on their parents. I like to think we have achieved all that.”
The programme takes its name from the road in Croydon where Dom and his family live, although he has subsequently found out there are actually at least three places called Sunny Bank Allotments in the UK.
The series consists of 12 x 11 minute episodes and 12 accompanying books. Details available at: www.Sunnybank.TVwhere the episodes can also be watched. They are also available watch They are also available to watch via the popular Kids Youtube Channel Wizz: https://www.youtube.com/c/wizz
Music charity announces free training for Early Years staf
AN AWARD-WINNING charity with twenty years’ delivering staff training in the UK and around the world has announced they are repeating their awards scheme for their highly acclaimed training course for Early Years practitioners.
Music as Therapy Internationalis a South London-based registered charity who believe passionately in the power of music to make the most of people’s potential, overcoming obstacles such as disability, trauma and mental illness. Their unique approach sees them train care staff to use simple music therapy techniques and musical activities, providing them with resources and professional support to make sustainable change.
The charity has been running their Interactive Music-Making(IMM) course since 2010. The six month course provides staff working in Early Years (with children under 5 years of age) with the skills and confidence to use music in a therapeutic way with the children in their care.
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