Founded by artist Adrienne Kralick, Painting Brighter Futures is trying to make the world a brighter place for children, women and families living in poverty.
HOW IT STARTED
My name is Adrienne Kralick. n May of 2012, I traveled to Africa to visit my daughter, Alexandra, who was studying abroad at the University of Ghana. I was anxious to see her life and to visit Future Leaders Underprivileged Children's Center where she volunteered weekly. By following Alexandra's blog Taking my Education to Africa I fell in love with the beautiful smiling faces of the children at the center. I wanted to help these children in any way could. The center's mission is to end the cycle of poverty by educating children living in the worst of it. These children's families live below the international poverty level of $1 a day and they can not even afford the minimal fees needed to could attend public schools. At the Underprivileged Children's Center, UCC the kids are taught basic math, reading and writing until funds can be raised for them to continue on to public school.
While in Ghana, Alexandra and I visited Future Leaders and I met with Billa Mamud, it's founder and director. We discussed his needs and how I could help. With his rent steadily increasing, he wanted to buy the land and to build a permanent center where he could provide free quality education, meals, and healthcare to needy children and housing for orphans. I decided to help Billa raise this money. But how could do that? I was just an artist, teaching and painting in Northern Virginia just outside Washington, DC. I decided to use my artistic skills and connections in my community and beyond to help. I would paint the beautiful people and scenes that inspired me in Africa and sell these paintings to raise the money to buy the land for Future Leaders UCC.
I returned home Inspired! Inspired to paint the colorful scenes she saw everywhere and inspired to help those precious children. I started collecting donations of clothes and school supplies for the kids and painting from the photos Alexandra and I took. The paintings were different than anything I had done before. They were vibrant, colorful and alive with movement and emotion. My students and clients snapped them up like never before.
With my husbands frequent flyer miles, I returned to Ghana three more times within the next year, with suitcases full of donations. I even helped start a computer lab with the lap top computers and learning games I brought. Once the wheels were set in motion, there was no stopping me.
The following year, I passed my studio on to my students so I could focus all my attention on painting, selling, collecting and helping these children. The project has grown and the web of generosity is spreading further and further every day. It has given me and many other people great joy to help by sharing what we have with others.