VFF’s Festival of Art Cultivates Creativity in Local Students
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The Vicente Ferrer Foundation USA (VFF USA) is thrilled to announce the save-the date for our annual gala, “Recipe for Empowerment” as October 6th, 2017.
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Each year Children's Day is celebrated across India to promote the rights, care, and education of children. Children’s Day – or Bal Divas as it’s called locally – celebrates the birthday of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India. Jawaharlal Nehru is famous for many things, including as an iconic national figure who was once mentored by Mahatma Gandhi and went on to lead the Indian independence movement.
Nehru was also renowned for his respect and admiration of children. He passionately believed that children represented India’s future and were the real strength and foundation of society. Nehru was fond of saying that children were like flower buds in a garden, who should be carefully and lovingly nurtured. Impressively, he did not discriminate children by gender. Nehru encouraged equal opportunities for girls and boys. This was seen in his own family; his daughter Indira Gandhi grew up to be the first female prime minister of India!
At VFF we honor Nehru’s belief in the potential of children by hosting an annual Festival of Art on Children’s Day. Our Festival of Art aims to promote and develop the skills practiced by students in VFF-supported schools. Prizes are awarded in different media categories, including clay sculpture, painting, and rangoli, a regional art that creates patterns on the ground using colored sand, flour, and other materials.
Last year, 234 girls and boys between the ages of 6 and 10 participated in the festival. A special surprise made the festival even more meaningful. Through’s VFF’s international offices, students around the world wrote stories in response to the art from the previous year’s festival. Those stories were compiled into a special book featuring illustrations by the young artists in India. What a delight for the children to see their own artwork in a book creatively written and lovingly bound by friends across the globe.
With the mission to empower people of all ages in rural India, VFF’s work with children throughout the year takes many forms. This art festival is a highlight of the year, giving children an extra opportunity to reach their full potential. Child psychologists and educators have long valued participation in the arts as a key building block of child development, helping strengthen a child’s motor skills, language development, problem solving, critical thinking, visual-spatial perception, and academic performance. Moreover, the arts provide an important outlet for expressing ideas, feelings, and solutions. And creativity is in VFF’s DNA, a key tool we use with our local partners to find innovative, sustainable solutions. Thanks to your support, we proudly host the Festival of Art each year, empowering children in rural India to be the influential next generation that the late Nehru imagined them to be.
Find out how you can travel to India to visit women, children, and communities being empowered through our Travel for Change program.