My friend Shelby (the one that headed the school world map mural in my village) told me many months ago that her artist friend was coming to Mali and they wanted to paint murals all around. I jumped on the opportunity to have a professional artist come to my village to paint an educative message to the masses. Mali is a country with 23% literacy rate. They need pictures to get a message across, as any type of written information is pretty useless. Since we had already done a mural at the school, I figured our village maternity was a good place to create an informative mural.
So, the message that we all decided to convey was about the importance of a healthy diet for the mother when breast feeding. Malians diet is lacking in many vitamins, and it's so important for the baby to receive nutritious milk from it's mother.
Here is Amy starting the picture for the different foods that should be consumed by the mother.
This is Shelby and I painting the beds. I knew I needed to keep myself busy while Amy was painting and I knew I didn't want to ruin the mural by attempting to do any sort of painting on it, so there was my busy work. The two mid-wives were so happy with the new paint job. I figured since we were in Africa, we could use nice, fun colors. Before, the beds were painted black.
Here is Amy putting the finishing touches on the food picture. I was so impressed that she did all of this free hand!
Here is a little bonus painting we did on the opposite wall. Malaria is one of the biggest killers of infants here in Mali. If the parents would only take some preventative measures, such as always putting their baby to bed under the mosquito net, their chances of not contracting malaria would be significantly lower.
Here is our final product! The women were so happy with the change! The understood the mural and can now pass this info onto all the women that enter the maternity to have their babies. I actually have 1 bed and crib left to paint. We ran out, but I'll do it this week. They want to have a little party/grand opening when I return to my village. The two Malian women in the picture are the mid-wives.
Here is the before picture when we were cleaning. What a happy difference!
So, this is just a mini- project because I just paid for the cost of the paints. BUT I think we really improved the look of the maternity, which in turn changes the moral of the women. They give birth in a room that looks exactly like the one above pictured, minus all of the beds. Plus the picture concentrating on the mother, and its presented in a positive manner, that hopefully it will make the new mother think twice about eating a little healthier.