A mural for healing

Rebecca Gaasrsud | Trinidad & Tobago

Teams of crewmembers spent two days painting an outdoor mural at a home for children who have suffered, or who may be at risk of, abandonment or abuse.

Fifteen kids benefit from the services the care centre provides, with eight of them living on the premises. The organisation does not receive consistent funding, so staff members rely on the assistance of international groups and local churches to help on a project-by-project basis.

“In thinking of ways of to help out, I realised that a mural could not only bring people’s attention to the home, but if we were creative enough, we could design it in a way that would inspire people to get involved,” said Brandon Kemp (Bahamas), a member of Logos Hope’s advance preparation team for the ship’s visit to Scarborough. “The organisation is struggling financially. Our team drove past the home but never noticed it was there. We thought, ‘If we paint something with a message, it will reach the right people.’”

A cement wall stretches across the entire front side of the property, so the teams used the flat surface as a canvas for the project. All aspects of the mural were thoroughly considered before work began. Nazareth Bonilla (Spain), a volunteer involved in the design and execution of the piece, explained that the colours were chosen to create a welcoming atmosphere for the kids, saying, “We are trying to use colours that are not too bright, not too strong or aggressive.”

The scene features a child letting go of a paper boat, to represent releasing trauma and beginning the journey of healing. At the other end of the wall, a new, strong boat is sailing towards the sun, showing the freedom and liberation that is possible through finding hope and moving forward.

Volunteers hope the mural will inspire both the children and the community: the children to carry on in their journey of healing, and the community to step up and become active participants in the work the home is doing.

Published: Friday, 17 February 2017
Credit: Rebecca Gaasrsud
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