For the past 10 years, Community Children Art School (CCAS) has been offering accessible artistic opportunities to children who are in love with drawing and colors. Along with the objective of creating mass awareness about importance of art education, the school is also working for the development of personal and creative skills in children.
“Children’s minds are like soft clay. They have the potential to be molded in any shape. But someone needs to hone that creativity and bring the best out of them,” says Sarita Dongol, founder of CCAS further adding that this was the reason for focusing especially on children as students. However, CCAS conducts trainings for not only children but youths and adults as well.
CCAS runs two-hour classes every Saturday. Students are taught basics such as drawing and painting as well as other varieties of arts like acrylic painting, landscapes, charcoal drawings, oil paintings etc. The classes are divided according to age group and ability of the individuals.
Likewise, CCAS has been organizing free classes for mentally disabled women at SUNAGAVA. In these free classes, the participants are taught skills like making earrings, postcards, paper collage among other crafts. Dongol says that they need to apply different methods while teaching these women. “Art never discriminates anyone. We see a certain spark in eyes of these ladies while playing with colors.
This encourages us to teach them more,” she says. Not only that, but CCAS also provides weekly free classes and workshops for the economically challenged, orphans, and street children where they not only introduce new types of art but also provide the required materials.
Among the dozens of projects organized by CCAS, Sarita says that the students exchange program in Ghale Gau was one of their biggest accomplishments. They held trainings for teachers on modern art teaching techniques. In that two-day program, students from Kathmandu and Ghale Gau got an opportunity to interact and connect with one another.
Though CCAS conducts its carefully designed projects well, it has also been experiencing many difficulties. One of the major challenges is to convince those parents who are depriving their children from learning art. Next is during mobile trainings. They meet children who are keen to learn arts. They have passion but no ability. These children easily get depressed when they cannot perform better. Hence, sometimes it becomes hard for teachers to counsel them.
But undeterred by the hardships, CCAS is currently preparing to hold exhibitions and workshops in Mustang. Since student’s tuition fee is the only source of income at CCAS, Dongol shares that it’s a little difficult to manage all the requirements for the program. But she believes that art education can develop good skills and make students creative and independent in the long run and preservers for successful completion of the projects.
Students at CCAS have managed to bring many honors to the school and the school in turn has awarded them with free courses for six months too. “Our students have won competitions at both national and international level. Whether it is a community based competition or the World Children Art Competition, they have always worked hard to be the best,” says Dongol.