While we were building the community center in 2010, we started to bring in art supplies and began running drawing classes for local kids. Their interest in, and enthusiasm for, not only art but also the construction process led us to the realization that we should create more lasting structures to involve Cormiers’ younger residents in our work. So we partnered with teachers in Cormiers to start the Klub Obzevatwa after-school program in 2014.
Each week, Klub Obzevatwa teachers introduce 30-40 local kids to arts, crafts, and building design concepts. We see this as a way to become even more intentional in our work — to slow down, listen to the community, remain connected, get to know people better over time, and have fun together. A team of local artists serve as the instructors, who impart fun and educational projects for the children each week. Class projects range from drawing, cooking, tile-setting, earthquake preparedness, Haitian culture and history and of course, they leave time for games, song and dance.
While we are engaged with building projects the students in Klub Obzevatwa also have opportunities to work with us and learn about architecture, home design, and town planning. If a building can be an artwork and a model of possibility, we think it can be a teaching tool, too!