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The World on a Child's Drawing

In 1991 we travel around the world. Our prparations took us five years. During these five years we started feeling that we did not just wanted to travel for the sake of travelling and absorb what the world has to offer. We wanted to do something, give back, share our travels with the world. We visited a primary school and talked the idea to work with children and make drawings over with a group of 12 year olds and our project was born. The children all made drawings to be exchanged for other drawings, made by children in far away countries and the drawings joined us on our world tour.

The World on a Child's Drawing has grown out to be a full-seize project: We exhibit the drawings, have conversations with groups of children about what the world looks like and how other children will live in other parts of the world. The children then tell in their drawings about themselves and their world/country and add a greeting and a smile in the hope that their drawing will be received well by the children somewhere, far away.

Children in over 50 countries participated in our project. While we still have drawings which were made to be exchanged (and because we love to do this), we will be taking them along again to Siberia.

Visit to the Rozengaardsweide primary school

"You will see yourself. It's a very charming group." Schoolmaster Roy of the Rozengaardsweide primay school in Hengelo, informed us in advance about the children. He didn't say too much. Just like the children we had longed for this moment. We were happy to go on and to tell the children about our project.

The first thing to discuss was the journey around the world, we've commenced from 1996 till 2001. We also tell about the kids who've made drawings for us and in this way, told us about themselves. Drawings from approximately 50 countries are hanging on the wall and the blackboard, three among them are from Holland. One was made in 1995 by a pupil from the Julianaschool in Leerda. This drawing has travelled with us some 225.000 Kilometres. Another was made three years later by an apprentice from the Montessorischool in Amsterdam. At that particular time, we were on the road in South Africa. The editors of the NRC Handelsblad, responsible for children's section, have send us a box full of children's drawings.

First we ask the children to think of the world and how it actually looks to them. The kids in group eight believe there is probably some flora and plant growth in the desert. They've never considered the fact some children, who reside in the desert, have never seen a rainbow in their entire life. It's also funny to them that having a roof above your head is not the most important thing to have in life for these desert people. Later on we start to talk about Russia and Siberia. The immense country we're going to visit this time. How will it be over there in winter time?

Of course it's much more fun to talk than to draw. We've showed the kids our special boots and suits. We comprehend it must be so cold in Siberia, it can be dangerous to take a leak outside in the bushes. There isn't only the danger of an attack by bears and wolves, but the urine will freeze before it reach the ground. "That can make a great slide!" comments one of the kids. We also show them our motorbikes. Rob tells them about the bikes and explains how they work. It's very enjoyable with the kids but time flies when you're having fun.

"If you promise to have the drawings ready by Tuesday we stay a little longer now" I say while looking at Roy. Luckily he agrees and today all the drawings were finished. They better be, because we're looking forward to start our journey to Russia soon!
Click for large image! Photo: Harrie Ligtvoet
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Click for large image! Tara hopes for freezing weather also.

Click for large image! Marchien riding on her bicycle along her house.

Click for large image! Sharon drawed herself surrounded by her pets.

Click for large image! Gerben drawed how a Dutch church looks.

Click for large image! Besides drawing horse, Nikki is also riding them.

Click for large image! Stein shows how the cabbage is harvested.

Click for large image! Maarten Jan drawed the sawing-mill.

Click for large image! Sanne liked this beautifull farm a lot.

Click for large image! Bart is showing us Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas), a real Dutch tradition.