In a rugged dining hall of an art institute, Watoto student, Alex brings to life a picture portraying the life he lived before he became part of the Watoto family.
“The picture depicts a lady and her two sons walking along a winding dirt road. Alex and Calvin are carrying jerry cans of water on their heads, returning from a local well. This artwork is a snapshot of my story before Watoto,” says Alex. Prior to joining Watoto, Alex, along with his brother and mother, collected water from a local well on behalf of people to earn money so they could survive day to day.
“We walked long distances in search of a home that needed water,” continues Alex. “We then had to trek long miles to collect the water. At the end of every day, we were exhausted. But at least we had money for food and some place to stay.” In 2008, Alex and his brother joined Watoto with their mum, who had completed her training to serve as a Watoto mother.
“Watoto gave me and my brother the opportunity to be children again. We no longer had to be anxious about where our next meal would come from. As children, we were now free to focus on other things, like school,” says Alex. Alex received a quality education at a Watoto school, and at age 21 is now pursuing a degree in Art and Design in college. He dreams of becoming a painter and curator in the near future. His passion has led him into turning his room into a mini art gallery with all his collection displayed for all to see.
“I met a curator during an art exhibition and we connected. She guided me on what I should do in order to excel as an artist. To me, art is a way of capturing important moments and telling stories in a different way,” he says. Alex will be graduating at the end of 2018. He is already using his talent to tell stories that will change people’s lives.
“I have donated my talent by painting children’s waiting areas in hospitals. And I am currently painting at a rehabilitation centre to make the waiting area more child-friendly,” says Alex. “I love what I do.”
Thank you for providing children like Alex the opportunity to receive an education, making their dreams a reality.