Where to start? Shamrock is more than just an experience for me, it is a part of my family now.
I can say that school changed my life forever and gave me hope & aim for the future.
When I first came to Shamrock, it was after meeting Mary Palmer, a volunteer art teacher who dedicate a few months a year – since long time – to the school by teaching them art classes (which they don’t have in their regular program the rest of the time.)
She introduced me to the school, asking if me & my mom (Nanou André) could join her to run more art activities – as we are both artists.
Since that first day of November 2014 when I entered there, I never left! We accomplished so many things inside the school since that time, after joining Mary for many creative activities, when she left – my mom & I still continued our art classes with the students for many months.
Beside our classes, Michael Newton, the school manager, asked us to create fun art improvements in the playground, we then painted chess, tiger & goats, hopscotch games on the floor for the children to play with. We also did a mural for the puja with a painting of Sarasvati – Goddess of education – for which we painted every day and dedicated 25 hours in front of the children to show them the process of a painting but most of all, to teach them how patience & hard work are necessary & how art is magical because it allows you to create beautiful things.
Then the school was facing difficulties and was running out of money so we thought about creative & helpful ideas of handicraft to produce with the students in order to sell these handicrafts in town and make small profits for the school. As I’m a certified graphic designer & photographer, with many years of art studies behind me, it was a great pleasure for me to help them with my skills as much as I could & an amazing rewarding experience every time I was sharing my knowledge & love for art with them.
Shamrock kids are the best students you can have because they are showing so much interest in learning new things, they are very curious and so creative. When we are working, they always ask if they can help you for anything because they want to learn more & take part of the job.
So much joy we had every time we were doing art activities with them, all these sunny afternoons spent in the playground, exploring creativity & discovering their own creative potential through art, sharing with them & seeing their smiley faces so happy to learn, it was magical.
All these moments & accomplishments for us, made us believe strongly that art is really important for children. It allows you to connect with yourself, with your own potential, to express your feelings & emotions, it gives you the choice, it gives you infinite possibilities, because creation has no limits. Because of this experience with them, I found a real goal in my life & I decided to really dedicate myself to a new life mission – to teach art in schools & help underprivileged children in Nepal. Since that time, I founded my own project, helped by my mom, called “We Art One“, in order to raise funds to continue our art projects here, to provide art supplies & help more children & schools in Nepal.
Almost two years after my first visit, I’m still supporting Shamrock (and I will do as long as I can), it has a very special place in my life. I currently dedicate lots of my time to help the school running social medias, painting over there & of course still running art activities. I’m now part of the Shamrock Family – a big one of more than 50 kids, always smiling, always happy, always learning, always sharing.
If you ever come to visit, be ready to fall in love & never leave. – Maëlle André