The word childhood often brings about warm, nostalgic memories, whether it be playing with toys or running around with mom or dad. However, childhood takes on an entirely different meaning for the children of war-torn Syria. As we ran around with our guardians, Syrian children are running from the only place they’ve ever known, as we had our parents tuck us in to a warm bed at night, Syrian children sleep on cots awaiting refuge at the Syrian border.
Though it is often difficult as American students to grasp the severity of such conditions, Timber Creek art students did, and took action to partner with The Memory Project and became Syrian children’s personal sketch artists.
The Memory Project is a nonprofit organization that partners with art teachers and students to create portraits of Syrian children in attempts to replenish some of the memories taken from them in the war.
The flyer reads, “Art teachers, please join us in creating portraits for Syrian children. They’ve lost so much to the war. Let’s help recolor their memories.”
According to memory project.org, the project delivered 3,000 portraits to children in refugee camps last year, and all were created by US high school students.
“We want the portraits to help the children feel valued and important, to know that many people care about their well being,” said memory project.org via their website.
The organization sends the students offering up their artistic talents a photo of a Syrian child and a nine-by-twelve plastic sleeve to protect the finished artwork. When all of the finished works are delivered, a video is sent back to the volunteers that show a large, group video of the children receiving the portraits.
As of Feb. 14, all sketches have been sent off, but not delivered, and according to art teacher, Makaila Jarros, it is not quite clear as to when they will be delivered.
Jarros also hopes to send $165 to the organization to be distributed to the children the pieces were given to.
“We really wanted to go the extra step, and give a little more than we were asked to,” Jarros said “I’m glad some of the art students could do their part.”