Since Kids Share Workshops’ inception in 2008 in the USA and in 2010, our first international workshop in San Ramon, Nicaragua, where Kids Share created an art-house out of a donated community building in a tiny coffee community, it was an easy bee-line to the hardware store for all our creative needs in Lome, Togo. I was grateful for the help of Denis Rozand, a true Togolese patriot, and for his extensive knowledge of Lome’s best locations to find everything we needed.
I realized early on that hardware stores and general stores can be found in even the poorest of countries and that latex house paint (which dries like plastic) would be the safest, low toxic paint to use on a large-scale art installation. There was the cost issue and how I could afford to teach 25-50 children and leave them enough leftover art supplies to carry on even after our time had ended. With modest success and huge appreciation for the generous donations, through a GoFundMe page, we were well equipped and ready to teach the 50+ children waiting for us to start on April 5!
Kids Share indeed came full circle with La Touche in Togo, where Kids Share volunteers were invited to help create a new center of art and writing for area children. When I start a new Kids Share Workshop, I tell myself, this could be the last one; go at it with passion and love; this might be our last.
It is a privilege to co-create with another culture, let alone bring your children to be part of this wonderfully enriching experience.
I marvel as I write this, witnessing once again creative minds far from my own country openly share their lives, hopes, dreams, and creativity with love. These special Togolese children are teaching my family and me something new about ourselves. That life is miraculous. Anything is possible if you can imagine it long enough with passion.
Kristina Applegate, founder of Kids Share Workshops