We were greeted in grand fashion by the residents and staff of Khagendra Newlife Centre, with ‘khada’ (decorative scarves) and beautiful flowers. There are many adults and young people with serious disabilities who live at this center and on this special day we had pre-arranged a project that would allow for a meaningful interaction between our TRIFC/ADSoN volunteers and the residents, via a pottery-painting project. It was a total success!

After introductions we got down to ‘business’ in true Nepali fashion- initial chaos and confusion! Then, some semblance of organization seemed to appear out of thin air. Following that, the project began to take shape and the residents began painting. Our volunteers dove right in and helped….I didn’t see anyone being uncomfortable or shy. And, in some cases, there was lots of help needed. Several of the residents needed to explain and show our volunteers what they would like painted on their piece of pottery as they were unable to hold the brush. Matt Camrud helped a young person with cerebral palsy paint his pottery in this way. Renee helped sweet little Sita hold her brush as she painted beautiful flowers on her clay plate.

Subash, who is the physiotherapist at Khagendra was our key contact to put much of this project together. He was totally amazed and surprised at how engaged the residents were with this project! Also at the quality of work being produced.

The painting was followed by a typical Nepali dinner (lentils and rice, vegetables and spicy pickle!), music and further conversations/interactions.

My sincere thanks to Subash and all of the volunteers and residents at the center who made this such a successful event.

We left lots of extra paints, brushes and paint-pallets, so I imagine there will be more beautiful artwork being created in the months to come!

-Rob.