To all interested people who want to be involved in,

Hereby we present a glimpse of the basic framework of this non-profit based project,
currently under development.

"A HEART FOR INDIA" is a social/artistic concept profiled for the first time at the beginning of January 2010, and to be continued in co-operation with any interested organisations, artists, and others with the same goals in their heart.

The idea is to create hearts for India. This idea was a result of a brainstorming session between
Annique Mahieu, an art teacher at the Academy of  Contemporary Art in Ghent, Belgium,
and Dirk Thienpont, an experimental art student at the Academy of Contemporary Art in Ghent, Belgium.

Dirk, an emphatic India-traveller for many years, simply wanted to take action, "to do something",
after he saw the daily fate of the vulnerable children of India.
(In India, there are more than 40 million children who live on the streets).

He really wished to bring artistic education and fun to the many street/slum children and orphans of India.

But how?

Where to begin?

With just talking about possibilities, but no action, plans remain dreams.
So the time and opportunity had arisen to take initiative.

Why not try to connect the children on both sides?

Why not search for ways to let them participate in a border crossing artistic project?

On both sides we immediately recognized an educational “dimension” in the idea to create a
platform for interaction, to let the children grow in a deeper understanding of the world we live in, that way creating an opportunity for artistic development for the children of India too. The project will be based on artistic exchange and participation. Thereby enabling children to learn together about each other's cultures.
So we decided to create "A heart for India", just by doing it.

The following schedule is the action plan for this project:

-Dirk researches the opportunities and child rescue organisations in Goa, India

-Annique is creating textile hearts with the students from the Academy of Contemporary Art, decorated with all kinds of designs from the Belgian children's daily environment, to be sent to India.

-Dirk is creating similar hearts with the Indian street/slum children and orphans in Goa, with all kinds of designs from the Indian children's daily environment, to be sent to Belgium.

-Once we received the hearts decorated with elementary drawing lines from each other, the children on both sides continue each others artistic work, to finish the heart design.

-Internet, as a magic tool, is the beating heart to weld the connections:
it makes it possible to let the project develop together, in constant interaction with the two bases.

-We are sending pictures of our activities to each other, to show the children the visuals of the artistic progression of the project.

-All hearts will be brought together in Belgium to be assembled and decorated as soft cushions.

-All these soft hearts will be used to create a heart-tree by the end of June at the Academy of Contemporary Art in Ghent, Belgium, in an all-round concept profiled especially for the exhibition at the end of the academic year.

-The heart-tree will be at the very centre of a fund-raising event, a happening, where interested people can pick a heart from the heart-tree.

So we will ask a donation for the hearts. The profits will be used to help and to create a foundation for artistic development for the street/slum children and orphans, of India.
This way the artistic fund-raising event "A HEART FOR INDIA" becomes a metaphor for real action in India, to reach a helpful hand to the vulnerable children of India.

We both hope to create a marvellous experience for all people involved, and work with the power of our hearts to create "A HEART FOR INDIA".

Annique Mahieu, Art Teacher at the Academy of Contemporary Art in Ghent, Belgium.
Dirk Thienpont, student artist, Belgium, India.
Contact: aheartforindia@hotmail.com
Website: www.heartsforindia.weebly.com  

From the heart of a street child,

Rajesh, 14 years old:
"People would ask, who are you? I was unable to tell them anything, because I was a mystery even to myself."

Rani, 12 years old:
"If I were rain, I would go where water cannot be found".

- From the book: If I were rain.
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