As part of the Little Heroes programme, we help children to discover their hidden talents - such as crafts, art, drama, sport, music or writing.
One young boy attending our programme for the very first time was Shadi; he was 9 years old, and he has known nothing in his short life but war, deprivation and despair.
At this point in the programme, the children are taken to a room where they can see all of the different talents on offer. Some rush to the football equipment, some to the music area, and some have a hard choice deciding what to choose.
As soon as he saw all the colours in the painting area, he was transfixed. He couldn’t believe his eyes. We asked him if he had ever painted before. He told us that he had never even seen paints and brushes before, he had never even used a crayon. You could tell from the look on his face that Shadi was desperate to experience creativity, something we all take for granted.
So we let him. After trying first with a pencil, Shadi picked up a brush, dipped it in the paint, and began to express himself. He painted pictures of landscapes, of butterflies, of buildings and gardens. All he wanted to do was paint.
Through this experience, Shadi has become more confident and can express himself freely and this is because of his new-found passion for art. Through Little Heroes, Shadi has opened up, he has become more confident, and he has a new hope and new energy to live his life without fear.