Children Draw their Dreams in Africa

Do you remember when someone asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up? What did you say? A policeman, a teacher, a pilot?  Poor children in Africa have dreams too. Their dreams are most often of a better life for themselves and their families.

Recently more than 1,000 children from some of Kenya’s poorest areas were given the chance to draw their dreams for the future. As you might expect, they drew pictures of doctors, engineers and airline pilots.

Children throughout the world share similar dreams, but these children had the chance to express their dreams through art thanks to New York artist Dinesh Doshi, who wanted to give children in Africa the chance many never have. Working with African Childrens Haven, an Aid for Africa member, he donated crayons and paper to children in Nairobi and rural areas near Lake Victoria in western Kenya.

“It has been a goal of mine to provide crayons to young minds, so that they have the opportunity to explore their own dreams,” Doshi said.

More than 1,000 children from some of Kenya’s poorest areas were given the chance to imagine and draw their futures. Most students in Kenya don’t receive art instruction in school.  Many have never even held a crayon.  Art is a luxury when there isn’t enough money to buy text books. Doshi wants to change that.

“Educators know that teaching art at the primary school level helps children develop their motor skills, promotes language development and strengthens decision making,” Doshi said.

Sarah Alivista, a student from Kangami, one of Nairobi’s worst slums, wants to be a doctor who takes care of children. Yvone Mulusa, wants to be an environmentalist and protect the forest.

Doshi spent his first twelve years in Sudan before returning to his family’s home in India, where he trained as an architect and designer. Since 1974 he has lived in the US where he is an established expressionist painter.

The students began sharing their drawing in early June. All will be collected and shared by African Childrens Haven.

African Childrens Haven helps children living in extreme poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa lead healthier, more productive lives. The work of the organization supports education, health, sanitation and safety, particularly for orphans and girls, who face greater risk for violence, neglect and illness.

View some of the artwork by Kenyan children who are drawing their dreams.

Aid for Africa is an alliance of U.S.-based nonprofits and their African partners who help children, families, and communities throughout Sub Saharan Africa. Aid for Africa’s grassroots programs focus on health, education, economic development, arts & culture, conservation, and wildlife protection in Africa.

Photo Credit: Aid for Africa


Paulo R
Paulo Rabout a month ago


Paulo R
Paulo Rabout a month ago


Marie W
Marie W2 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

FOTEINI chormpou7 months ago

noted! :)

Carl R
Carl R7 months ago


heather g
heather g8 months ago

I hope the 'America's Embarrassment' doesn't go and cut funding for these deserving children

Camilla Vaga
Camilla Vaga8 months ago


Margie F
Margie FOURIE8 months ago

We take things for granted. Our children were brought up with colouring in books and crayons.

Twila H
Twila H8 months ago

It's such a shame that there are children that have never had the chance to draw, color or paint. Thanks for sharing the article.

Steven W
Steven W8 months ago

Great article. Thank you.