ColourProfessionals in Brazil

Children experience the beauty and possibilities of colour

An experience I will never forget, I worked with great kids in Florianapolis, Brazil.


  • ASAS a shelter for 80 children

  • The three parts of the Art-Classes

    • 1. Making Colours

    • 2. Colour and emotions

    • 3. Making your own artwork

  • The extra things they learned

  • Follow up

ASAS a shelter for 80 children

ASAS, the foundation for which I did my volunteer work, is supported by the ngo Power2Fly. A foundation that is a shelter for 80 children, mostly from deprived neighbourhoods. In Brazil children only go half a day to school, either in the morning or in the afternoon. Not every child has parents who can afford after-or pre-school care or are unwilling to do so. Without ASAS, many children would be left to their own devices and would be walking in the street. In Brazil there are a lot of drug crimes, so it is dangerous for young people, who are still so easy to influence.

ASAS creates structure that children often do not get at home. The kids get coaching with their homework, they learn that the environment is important and there is psychological counseling. Beside that, ASAS organises a lot of creative and sport activities.

The kids of ASAS
The kids of ASAS

By this wide range ASAS manages almost always that these young people finish school, develop their social skills and tighten their family relations. The kids stand in live with more respect, dignity and perseverance.

I was visiting Brazil and thought, why not learn these children something about colour?

I could teach them that in order to paint, you only need a few colours to make many other tones. They also would learn that you can express your emotions through colour, and as a final task, they would make there own piece of artwork.

The date was set and now came the big challenge.

Many secrets of colour are no challenge for me anymore, but working with so many children in a language I do not speak was the challenge of a lifetime. A great and  exciting experience was waiting before me.

Upon our arrival, the children sat with their tutors and teachers, obediently waiting for us. As the children arrive in the morning or afternoon there is always a circle formed and the educators talk to the children. This, as well as all other activities, give the children a feeling of attention. They can tell there own story and learn to listen to the other children as well.

So after we arrived I got introduced to the first group of children. I told them the purpose of the training was to make a range of colours, using red, yellow, blue, black and white. In the future it could be a great advantage for them if they want to continue painting because you don’t have to invest a lot in order to get started.

The three parts of the Art-Classes

1. Making Colours

Making Colours
Explaining the fundamentals

Exercises were designed to experience how you can make many colours, tints and shades by mixing them in the right way. They first got to know the primaries, how to mix to get the secondary. They went on making tints and shades. To work as economically as possible they learned the mixing order to spill as little paint as possible. The exercises were also great for her hand-eye coördination.  

2. Colour and emotions

Expressing emotions with colour
Expressing emotions with colour

The aim was to experience, that you can express your emotions with colour and painting. To do this exercise, I had chosen 8 words. Happy, Sad, Silly, Scared, Angry, Excited, Nervous and Tired. They first drew emoticons of their association with the word. Then they chose a colour or mixed a colour themselves to fit with this emoticon.

3. Making your own artwork

Making Artwork
Making Artwork

To finalize the class, every child made there own painting.

At the end they all took the exercises they made home, nicely tied together.

At the official ending,  all of them received a ‘diploma’ for following the Art-Classes of ASAS.

Proud of their accomplishments
Proud of their accomplishments

The extra things they learned

Learning a little bit English was a nice extra feature of this course, because all exercises where in English. Ones they knew the words for the colours, we called them out together a few times a day. Red, Yellow, Blue, Orange, Green, Purple, Black and White. They also learned the words like: Hello, How are you, Thanks, Teacher. Their first English words. They were so proud. Beautiful to see.

Pictures say more than a thousand words. If you see the happy faces of the children and how hard they have worked, you will see that it was successful.

The only downside that I can think of is that the groups were much too large, despite that there was enough assistance.

For this problem is a simple solution however. When a number of people put their shoulders under ASAS, they are able to hire more staff.

Follow up

For the children of ASAS I want to set up a sponsor programme with Art-Classes. In this way they can develop their sense of colour further. I have seen what these days already did to them. Manny happy faces. There were very passionate and talented children among them, and it would be great that they could develop their talent with a special program. Painting may also be an outlet for their frustrations and to show their emotions.

To ensure continuity, the teachers of ASAS will get a workbook made by ColourProfessionals. This manual is going to be translated into Portuguese, with theory and practical exercises. The advantage of the workbook will be, that if the art-teachers quit, other supervisors can seamlessly take it over and the children can continue with their lessons without interruption.

The workbook can be extended further by the section: Discovering art. Learn them about artist and painters and the work they have created. They can make their own interpretation of certain artworks for example.

With a good sponsor program, not only their own development will grow, but they will learn about the world in a different manor. They will learn something about art and history in a playful way. The possibilities are countless and for these children a dream that can happen.

With the Art-Classes sponsor program it would be possible to set up a program in which the children can learn and work in smaller groups.

For this we are looking for fellow sponsors who want to give these children a creative opportunity. This can be done by a one-time donation or a monthly contribution.  The last option is preferred so we can guarantee continuity. The amount does not need to be large. To make a metafoor, going slowly, step by step, you can still make miles.

Who knows, maybe the next Picasso or Monet is between them and he or she gets the opportunity to develop their talent by this Art-Class program.

40% of the cost of ASAS is sponsored by the Brazilian Government, although they receive the money sometimes months later.  For the rest, the kids of ASAS are depending on donations and sponsors.  The sponsor program will be followed up by Power2Fly, NGO, established since April 2015. This NGO has also the AMBI status, therefor donations are tax deductible. Power2Fly supports projects that are organized in ASAS. Sponsors have the choice to what they want to sponsor. So if you want to help this children but don’t want to sponsor the Art-Classes, you have more choices. This choice is respected and the money you donate goes directly to what you want.

These  few days at ASAS, I have seen that their method works. I have met the people and I am confident that this is a great cause to support. You really can make a difference in these children’s  education and therefor in their lives.

ASAS stands for: Amigos Solidarios Acoes Sociais. Translated: Friends Solidarity Action Socially

My experience. By solidarity, to take action and to get socially involved, you make friends for life.

Making Friends for Life
Making Friends for Life

Jeannette Hanenburg

You Tube movie about ASAS


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