Art gives children a valuable outlet

Pictured, from left, are the Grade 1s who are taught how to work with pottery, Lihle Sitsheke, Justin Geduld, Cassidy Booysen, Patience Banda, Mary-Anne van Zyl, Onako Tiwani and Seth Steenberg.

The Butterfly Art Project (BAP), a non-profit organisation in Capricorn, provides healing art activities to over a 1 000 children, adults and vulnerable people in the informal settlements of Capricorn and Vrygrond, but in order to continue their service to the community, they need to rebuild their kiln room.

A kiln is a type of oven. It can be used to bake pottery and in the production of other art. BAP has a new kiln which was donated to them, but needs funds to instal it.

BAP was founded by Angela Katschke and is based next door to Capricorn Primary School.

Zaid Philander, the centre manager, explained how their art programmes help those who attend the classes.

“We teach children art such as pottery which helps build the muscles in the hands with motor skills.

“Some of the children can’t even walk up the stairs when they come here for the first time, but by the the end of the year they are very confident.”

BAP focuses on children from Grade R to Grade 12 as well as adults. “The pre-schoolers are prepared through free drawing and making use of water-colours. We use natural materials such as stones, sea shells, wool and clay for them to play with.”

He said the use of clay is therapeutic.

“Some children are taught not to play with mud, but here they can make something such as a bowl or a cup out of mud clay”,” said Mr Philander who is a designer of items such bags and upholstery.

He said he loves teaching children how to make decisions in life despite their circumstances.

“We need to teach children how not to be a victim,” said Mr Philander.

He said the children can express themselves freely through artistic means at the classes.

“When they play with items, they will perhaps portray what’s happening in their homes.”

He said it is important to keep them busy with pottery which structures their minds.

“We have a kiln, but we need funds to install it. We would like to revamp the kiln room, add in some shelving and also to install the new kiln that was recently donated to us,” said Mr Philander.

If you would like to make a donation towards the kiln room, contact Mr Philander on 072 190 2149.