Ethiopia: Turkish aid body helps orphans paint dreams

By Tufan Aktas

ADDIS ABABA (AA) – A Turkish aid foundation helped Ethiopian orphans engage in painting work for the first time at an orphanage in southern Ethiopia.

Yetim Foundation met Ethiopian orphans living in Yalova Girls’ Orphanage in the Kofele region of southern Ethiopia as part of “Pictures Touching Dreams” project carried out in 13 countries across three continents.

The project aims to change common perceptions about orphans and create a space where the children can be happy and have an opportunity to bring out their talents, Canan Dogru, the project writer and coordinator, told Anadolu Agency.

"Wherever we go with this project, the emotional situation is the same. The living conditions and education systems of the countries don't make children happy," Dogru said.

Meryem Busra Orhan, an art director, Ilhami Atalay, a painter, and Furkan Can, a social service expert, were also among the participants of the three-day project.

The project enables children to depict their emotions and dreams affected by war, natural disaster, disease, poverty, hunger, and drought via pictures.

The pictures are later analyzed by the professionals and the children are provided with psychosocial support.

The pictures will be put on a sale on Nov. 20 at Ali Emiri Efendi Cultural Center in Istanbul following an exhibition opening and documentary screening.