Preview: Kids Earth Fund
Spring Arts Preview
In 1988, Harumi Torii was running a small preschool in Tokyo, a school she had established out of a belief that all children should share their individual talents and skills as responsible members of not only Japanese society, but the world community. Torii introduced volunteer activities into the curriculum, including cleaning up the streets and participating in anti-war demonstrations.
Looking for a way that children could use their unique talents to contribute to society, she hit upon the idea of using their artwork to promote a message of peaceful coexistence. She began to collect children’s drawings from around the world and the Kids Earth Fund (KEF) was born. The KEF mission statement consists of one simple line: Kids helping kids. It’s a powerful statement in a world where children are too often the victims of poverty and conflicts between governments.
Since 1988, KEF has sponsored and carried out world-wide donations of medical supplies, art/educational materials, clothing and more to more than 30 countries in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe.
Another initiative of KEF is Kids Earth Homes, support centres staffed with professional volunteers to provide education, medical treatment, food, art therapy and psychological counselling. The homes not only administer to children’s physical needs, but attempt to enrich them with education and artistic creativity in order to help them grow intellectually.
KEF holds children’s art exhibitions throughout Japan and the rest of the world to promote the message, “let’s make this world a better place.” Children donate artworks that express a global vision of peace and environmental care and through corporate sponsorship, KEF creates products with the artwork including greeting cards, calendars, mugs and merchandise packaging. The artwork is also exhibited and sold to help raise funds to assist other children.
From Tuesday, May 12 to Saturday, May 16, Kids Earth Fund will present the exhibition Children’s Impressions 2009 at the National Nikkei Heritage Centre in Burnaby. Over 180 paintings by children from around the world will be displayed in conjunction with a small bazaar and the sale of small items including postcards. Donations are being accepted to help with the Kids Earth Fund’s worldwide activities. Children are also invited to bring along their own paintings for possible inclusion in future exhibits.
Tuesday, May 12 to Saturday, May 16
Kids Earth Fund Exhibition
National Nikkei Heritage Centre
6688 Southoaks Crescent,