“After facilitating the 5 days-long drawing training with the children of slum area, my realization is - real change is possible, and it's totally in our grasp; we just need to bring these children under the folds of education and creativity. Children of the slum areas are full of possibilities, they make a living by what they get, but we can make a life by what we give” stated by a drawing trainer of ActionAid Bangladesh who facilitated a drawing training with our children of LRP 51 which is a peri-urban slum area under Dhaka division.

To work towards creating a better and healthier future for children, ActionAid Bangladesh initiates several child-focused activities in their working areas. As a part of that this year with the direct collaboration of the students of Dhaka University Fine art department, ActionAid Bangladesh organized a 5-days long Drawing training that took place from 21st July to 25th July in four places including urban and rural communities. A total of 480 children and 24 child space facilitators attended the training in 13 different venues with the collaboration of 4 Interns from Dhaka University Fine Art Department.

Children’s paintings represent their perceptions of things; children transform their perceptions into images that can be understood and observed by people. While drawing can be fun and expressive, it is also a tool that can aid in recording, processing, and remembering information. When taking notes or planning something, people often rely on words, but drawing is an effective tool for these tasks as well, sometimes even more effective. Whereas children are effective communicators and through the creative arts, children learn to make meaning and freely express their thoughts, ideas, and feelings. Considering the fact facilitators teach them the basics of art and drawing during the training.

The main objective of this training was to enhance the children's cognitive development through creative learning and to cherish and value the local art form and cultural tradition, learning about recycling with different reusable materials. All the participants had taken part with great passion and vigor to learn skills and gain insights and experiences to help them grow and excel in their lives. “I love to play with colors in my drawing book, from the training I learned how amazingly we can mix different colors to invent a new color with some simple steps! By attending this training we also learned about sustainable environments and how waste can be used to create something useful.” Stated Nandiba(13) a participant of Art and Craft Training who is a student of class six and stays at Happy Home.

Along with the children, 24 child space facilitators attended the training as well and they believe through this training, children’s minds will be occupied with positive and creative things that will keep them away from misguided and wrong activities However, some children shared their feelings right after finishing the drawing training. Ashamoni (8) said, “I have learned how to start drawing and what should be the focus. Previously I used to try to draw by seeing the drawing book, but my drawing had no start or end. I have learned different shapes, using that one can easily make a whole drawing.”

"I wasn't good at drawing before, but I love to draw. By taking part in this drawing training, I learned to draw better than before. I drew some new scenes at home and showed them to my father and he appreciated them a lot. I will practice the techniques learned from the training regularly.” Babita, a 9-year-old child of Kurigram, said these words.