It’s 1998 and I’m sitting in Durbar Square Katmandu taking in all the wonderment around me. I see a little girl no more than 10 years old approaching me. Her big brown eyes shine as she fires off a variety of languages in an attempt to find the one I speak. I recognize a few, French, Spanish, English. I am humbled that I can’t identify more. I use my best travelers Spanish on her, but I am no match for this wise one…
She has gum to sell me to help with family finances, this is what she does instead of going to school. Forced by a world that isn’t fair… she learns languages from tourists. I pause and send a request to the universe that her personality and perseverance will serve her to the fullest someday. I leave feeling helpless and wonder what I could do, how can I help?
I was 24 and backpacking my way around the world. I could do that, and apparently my passport and a little ambition afforded me more opportunity’s in life than the sweet children I meet all over the developing world. I was learning so much from the people and ways of life I found outside my own boarders. I was gaining so much… how could I give back?
The years went on and my passport stamps added up. As did my love of art. Art changed my life, it has that power. What would happen if I could give children in the developing world exposure to the world of art… and if that art could help support their education?
That what if… became a reality in 2007. I told anyone who would listen my dream to share art in the developing world. Someone knew someone in Ethiopia and I boarded a plane… founding Art Aid for Tesfa.