Through 'Painting for an Education' I want to use art to bring education to girls and women living with HIV/AIDS, to help them to attend school and receive an education. Today it’s a small venture, but most things start that way- I am confident.
My vision is to empower women, invest in their ideas and grow those ideas into long-term opportunities for those living with HIV and their children. Through my work, I have met the most amazing people whose resilience and strength are astounding. To make these dreams come true an education is essential because education opens doors, it provides knowledge and skills to make the best choices.
I sell my artwork and with the proceeds, I pay schools directly and make sure girls have a secure place for the year. I work with NEPHAK (The National Empowerment Network of people living with HIV in Kenya).
Nancy Auma and Maureen Murenga work directly with me to pay the school fees directly, they stands up for young people living with HIV in Kenya and fights discrimination in schools, click here to hear Juliana's story which I capture on film in 2012 when she was just 19.
See some of my previous artwork that has been sold to support this cause and how I get inspired.
Use of a talent to grow funds and work with the comunnities so all money is used for education
UNAIDS estimates that over 34 million people are living with HIV worldwide, the majority, however, are in Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite huge progress, there are still 400 children a day born with HIV. These are children that will live with the virus all their lives until a cure is found. Technological advances means that treatments are available that will allow these children to live and grow to be healthy adults.
Today there is still much stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS. Many families find it hard to find employment and many positive children end up living in a precarious situation with limited school attendance. Education is not free in Africa and families with low incomes find it hard to ensure that their children attend school. Education is key to women’s empowerment in all societies, it allows them to have better control over their lives and make a better decision about their health and welfare. Girls living with HIV are therefore twice as vulnerable without an education.