Room 13 art studio, Pokhara, Nepal was officially opened in August 2015, supported by INNOVATIVE ORION (IO) a Pokhara based non-governmental organisation with a mission to provide underprivileged children with a nurturing and stimulating educational environment that helps them recognize their limitless potential. The young artists have worked with visual and performance artists to create original artworks, and held exhibitions of their work.
Since the introduction of Room 13 art studio in Pokhara, IO has been working to create a child friendly environment in school by conducting non violent communication sessions and art and awareness workshops to Kaski’s most neglected children, also reaching out to the students in the villages of Tanahun, Syangja, Nawalparasi and Lamjung.
Their goal is to offer children an opportunity to learn and grow by exploring their innate talents and provide an appropriate environment to flourish. Room 13 has become a learning centre for creative ideas and awareness among children and young adults aged between ten and twenty. Each month, they visit the studio to create art using local waste materials, as well as accessing training on capacity building, leadership skills, personality development, conflict resolution and income generation. They are spreading message of non-violence, environment conservation and team spirit via their activities and applying skills of awareness, conflict resolution and peace building to uplift their communities.
In their own words:
“The arts are slowly being removed from public educational curriculum, which means that fewer people have the chance to develop creatively. Nothing against multiplication tables, scientific discoveries and theories but we think children need and deserve a well-rounded education. Plus, our students aren’t just learning art. They’re learning to lead, to organise, to believe in themselves and each other. So this programme actually matters a whole lot. Room 13 turns children who wouldn’t ordinarily get the opportunity to participate in art programmes into painters, sculptors, leaders, social mobilizers, photographers and entrepreneurs and helps them grow as artists and as people.”