South Africa, 2007

The Colored Pencil Projects' first endeavor was distributing art supplies and teaching an art curriculum to children in various orphanages and rural villages in South Africa. Unicef has defined the following as issues facing children in South Africa:

  1. South Africa has the world's highest total number of people living with HIV/AIDS.
  2. AIDS causes 40 per cent of all deaths of children under age five, and has driven up infant and under-five mortality rates.
  3. Although 11,000 people are receiving anti-retroviral treatment, very few of these patients are children. The AIDS pandemic has orphaned more than a million children in South Africa.
  4. Only half of children are registered, limiting access to social services.
  5. More than a million school-age children do not attend school for a variety of reasons, including malnutrition, distance from schools, lack of resources and their parents' own lack of education.

The Colored Pencil Project traveled to 15 orphanages in townships outside of Johannesburg and working with the Amy Biehl Foundation of Capetown, reached over 800 children in two weeks.