I Am Bangladesh is the ninth in a series of Rogue Foundation empowerment projects supporting children living in conflict zones, natural disaster areas and severely challenged economic situations around the world. RF brings art supplies and conducts painting camps for the children and paintings are exhibited at Rogue Space Chelsea and made available for online sale, with 100% of the proceeds being returned to fund the children’s further education.
I Am Bangladesh follows on from projects in Haiti, Afghanistan, Syria, in the homeless shelters of New York, Congo, Nepal, Palestine and Madagascar. Projects are planned in S’aana, Yeman and with homeless children in Manilla, Philippines in 2019.
RF had the great pleasure of collaborating with Shameem Subrana and Shabab Murshid Development Foundation (SMDF) painting with at risk children living in slums in Dhaka., Bangldeshs capital with a population of over 20 million. All proceeds from the sales of the children’s art support scholarships for children to continue their education. It costs about $70 per year per child to subsidize their home life and keep them at school.
Without this support many children must work from an early age to help support their families and are forced to stay away from school creating an ongoing cycle of poverty. Sincere thanks to Rogue Foundation's great friend Khurshid Saleem of the New York Art Connection for making this project become a reality.
We also had a wonderful opportunity courtesy of our dear friends at the Cox's Bazare Art Club and completed an art empowerment program with children in the Rohingya refugee camp on the border of Myanmar and Southern Bangladesh.
The Rohingya refugees are a stateless Indo-Aryan-speaking people who reside in Rakhine State, Myanmar (also known as Burma). There were an estimated about 1 million Rohingya living in Myanmar before the crisis. The UN reported that an estimated 603,000 refugees from Rakhine, Myanmar, had crossed the border into Bangladesh since August 25, 2017 following violent ethnic cleansing of tens of thousands by the Myanmar military.
The Rohingya are described by the United Nations in 2013 as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.
All proceeds from the children's exhibition will be used to help the receive schooling in the camps.
It was such a pleasure to see these young kids who have suffered so much violence and loss of family members, be able to focus their energy on painting their dreams.