The Saranda Opening of the Season Festival was an opportunity for the Saranda Children’s Home to demonstrate artwork made by the children in the art room I’m running as a Peace Corps Volunteer and as well as other artworks they have made over time.
We took this opportunity to seek projects that would be feasible for the children to make with the help of the teachers as well as functional objects. I wanted to combine using items we received from a donation from Sarah Collier’s church in Savannah, Georgia, fabrics scraps and perler beads, and recyclable materials that were readily available, magazines and cardboard. I gather many ideas for the Children’s Home projects on my Pinterest board “Inspiring Creativity”.
Seeking a project for the perler beads, I stumbled upon this Beaded Bracelet project and followed the easy step-by-step directions. It took a few sessions that lasted around 4 hours of me teaching a group of 4-8 young boys to learn the project, but they took to it. The kids really enjoyed the activity once they mastered it and as the first picture in the slideshow demonstrates, I encouraged them to help one another to learn the project, as for some it required repeatedly telling them from what side to insert the thread, now add another bead, etc. The teachers also enjoyed the project and started making several and demonstrating for other kids that weren’t in my lessons yet how to make the bracelets.
Making these projects took place in a concentrated two weeks which I planned out before and discussed with my colleagues and director. If it was to be improved, I believe making these projects could take place over the entire year before the festival. However, things don’t necessarily work out that way with any project in Albania/Peace Corps. We often compact everything to the last minute.
The other projects we made for the Saranda Opening of the Season Festival were rolled magazine frames and fabric frames. I introduced the rolled magazine frames which involved many of the kids. The teachers had done the fabric frames before and were the main encourage-rs of this project.