The Orphan Portrait Project
Organized by: Tracey Sonneborn
February 25, 2016
It started with a photograph. A friend went to Kenya and shared her experience visiting orphanages. My heart connected with a photo of a beautiful little orphan girl. In her vulnerability, you could see through her eyes to her soul. I was inspired to paint her. Moved by the reaction the orphanage had to seeing her painting, a spark was created in me. I thought...How amazing would it be if I could paint orphans and help to get them adopted. A vision then unfolded, to give an identity to orphaned children around the world by bringing them to life through painting.
Orphans are the world's forgotten children, facing childhood without the love and care of their natural parents. They are vulnerable to human trafficking, labor exploitation, disease and malnutrition. Just three months in an orphanage translates to a one month loss of developmental skills. Three years can mean one year behind leading to ADHD, learning disabilities and detachment issues.* We all want to be seen, to be heard. Orphans have dreams and a purpose, they yearn to be loved.
Have an impact. Make a difference. Give an identity to orphans by confronting the global orphan crisis powerfully through the art of portraiture.
My goal in painting portraits is to capture the soul of a person and grasp a level of depth that can sometimes bring an individual to life more than other mediums. Using paintings as a tool for awareness is a unique and valuable way to create compassion and inspiration.
We're all reaching for our identity. We will help provide an identity to orphans, to help them feel safe, valued and loved. The sale of portraits will provide resources to proven organizations that care for children in impoverished countries, and promote family preservation and family reunification while providing support for children in need of adoption, because they require new permanent homes. Many people have experienced moments, seasons, years of abandonment. Through The Project we can help prevent these children from experiencing a lifetime of abandonment.
Right now your help is needed with the initial start-up; to get this off the ground, to fuel the momentum by coming alongside with a heart for these children. Your donation will allow us to put the pieces in place in order to be able to partner with an organization focused on orphans and raise institutional capital. With your help we can see this vision come to fruition and begin changing the lives of orphaned children all over the world.
The next steps.
Partner with an established organization with a pipeline in place and raise institutional capital. Once partnership is established, visit orphanages, connect with the children then create portraits. Paintings will become available to purchase bringing awareness to the children– giving them a name and a face– and providing support to the orphanages and communities that represent them.
I believe in being fueled by an ethical compassion that compels us to action. It's empowering to partner together for a common purpose. Orphans cannot care for themselves nor do they have choices about their situation. This is an opportunity to come together and give to those who have so little, by helping care for and giving a voice to those in need.
Great joy flows out of giving to others. It's the melding together of a mindset focused on reaching out to those in need and a generous heart. Differences are made more collectively than individually, we all have our own part to play and an ability to contribute differently. If we each step forward to play a part, however small or big it may be, we will make a difference. Let's be promoters of hope for children who at the core of their being simply yearn to be loved.
Thank you for thoughtfully considering how you can be a part of this important cause.