small foundation with a big impact

Eikezel's story

Eikezel is a former student who returned to Happy Watoto after studying art, and who is now teaching the subject at our school. Maret, a Dutch volunteer working with our project, talked to him to him recently.

As a child, you grew up at Happy Watoto. How did you experience that?
I liked it. Happy Watoto helped me, they are the ones who made my dream come true. I have liked arts since I was a little boy, and from a very young age I knew I wanted to earn my money with making art. Because of Happy Watoto, I was able to study art in college. To me, Happy Watoto feels like my parents. Without Happy Watoto I would not be here, but propably in a much more worst place somewhere else. 
What did you do after your stay at Happy Watoto?
When I was a child, Happy Watoto did not have their own primary school as they have now. Happy Watoto supported me to go to a public primary school and a public secondary school. After finishing secondary school, I went to college and studied in arts.
You are very talented in art. What exactly do you do at Happy Watoto with that?
Every Monday afternoon, I give art classes to classes 3, 4, 5 and class 6. I don’t teach them with rules, I want them to learn the basic skills of drawing and painting. For example, I take some attributes with me and put it on the table, so the children can draw this. From all the drawings, I look at which of the kids have the most talent in drawing. If they want, I will take them aside and teach them more details and the rules of painting and drawing, to develop their talent. If they don’t want and would rather play football or something else, that is also fine by me. I really want to work with the kids who have the talent and want to develop that. I want them to know that I am here for them if they want my lessons and want to develop their drawing and painting skills.
What was your main reason for deciding to return to Happy Watoto and teach the children?
Happy Watoto made my dream come true. Now I want to help them, to fulfil the dreams of the children over here by giving them my support with the art classes. Besides that, volunteering at Happy Watoto as an art teacher for me personally is nice, because it gives me more opportunities to show my work. So Happy Watoto helps me, and I help them by giving classes.

An impression of Eikezel’s work.
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