The team of Afghan Refugee Coordinators in the city of Kayseri held the first festival of painting and visual arts for children and youth Afghan refugees that live in cities all over Turkey.
The call for entries was two months before the festival and was supposed to culminate in a festival with the involvement of participants from throughout Turkey, however security officials did not give permission for the participants to travel to Kayseri and we were not allowed to bring them to the festival and award ceremony in Kayseri.
Goals for the Afghan Children’s Drawing Festival:
-Create a platform for knowledge, growth, and development of their artistic talents and plan for the future.
-Foster artistic creativity and exchanges of experience.
-Encourage and motivate children to understand the importance of art in society.
-Encourage children of asylum seekers to take part in social activities.
More than 100 children from more than 15 Turkish cities entered their drawings via e-mail and post, but unfortunately, we were unable to get the permission of the Turkish authorities to allow all the children to take place in the festival. Even without attendees from other cities, over 400 locals from Kayseri attended the event. The festival lasted nearly three hours and was coordinated by Mrs. Zakira Furutan.
During the event, children recited poems, read their own articles, and sang to the attendees.
At festival, 14 children received prizes and were able to take keepsake photos with their family members. After the ceremony, all participants visited the over 200 paintings that were put on display in an exhibition.