Quelimane, Mozambique, Africa, 2005
Casa de Paz e Luz (House of Peace and Light)
In 2005 I returned to Quelimane to work on a small earth building project to create a classroom for the homeless kids at the Cooperativa.
I wanted the children to be involved in the construction of their own creative space. I hope to restore to these kids, a belief that they have the power to manifest what they want in the world.
I was allocated to a group of 20 young homeless boys who were living in a shack nearby. We worked together every day for 2 weeks to create what they decided to call the 'Casa de Paz e Luz'. Every boy had a part in the project. Again, most of the boys could not read or write. I used the process of building to teach them practical math, and to encourage them to write, documenting the process. I would quiz them on methods and skills they had learned.
The project was featured on the BBC World Service Africa website. I recorded the whole process with photos and words, but upon my return to San Francisco my house was burglarized, and my computer stolen. All my records were lost, When we completed the class room there was a huge celebration attended by the whole community. Everyone agreed it was a huge success and they are waiting for my return to build another, much needed classroom at the school on the outskirts of town.
This would be a great project for my new program Global Art Expeditions!!