our-work

Our Projects

 
 

 Project: BOTSHABELO ORPHANAGE

 

 Where: MAGALIESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

 
Since 1990, Botshabelo has worked to become a self-sustaining community and, more importantly, a place of safety and family for orphans of South Africa’s AIDS and poverty epidemics. The community includes an orphanage, school, village, medical clinic and organic farm. Botshabelo is dedicated to improving the lives of the economically challenged, especially children who have been orphaned by or exposed to HIV/AIDS.
 
We were awed by the Cloete family that started Botshabelo. This amazing family left their affluent lives in S. Africa to create the Batshabelo orphanage after seeing the number of children affected by the aids epidemic there. Through their open arms policy of helping anyone in need they have created their own township.
 
“Our philosophy is to help anyone who needs it, regardless of background or age. We can’t turn away anyone who comes to us for help, whether they are an adult, a child, or even an animal. As a result, our village is now home to about 1,000 men, women and children, plus a few dogs, cats, and snakes.”
 
We are so excited to work with this incredible organization and amazing people. We will be building a playground for the children of Botshabelo and creating an art curriculum for the school there.

 
 
 

 Project: CANTON CHORRO ABAJO

 

 Where: IZALCO, EL SALVADOR

 
There are 190 children between the ages of 4 to 17 years old who attend the school of Chorro Abajo. The school has a handful of teachers serving all 190 children. There are only 4 small classrooms with 40 children crammed into each room. 90% of the children attending the school have a difficult time even getting there as they have to work to help support their families. This harsh reality is why there is such a high drop out and illiteracy rate. Most of these kids work seven days a week, before or after school, picking coffee, grazing cattle, and cutting sugar cane. A great number of these children are malnourished due to the hardships of everyday life. These children work in an attempt to help their families earn a mere $3 a day, not leaving them much time to just be kids.
 
We traveled to the town of Izalco and set up a photography program for the kids at the school and ran a mural program. The kids helped us paint a beautiful mural on their school walls!

 
 
 

 Project: OPERATION SHANTI

 

 Where: MYSORE,INDIA

 
Our flagship project that inspired us to create Leela was the StarSeeds Shanti Playground Project in 2012. We traveled to Mysore, India, and built a playground (well, two playgrounds–one for the boys and one for the girls) for the kids at the Operation Shanti shelter. Shanti is an amazing non-profit that provides a home, medical care, the opportunity to attend nearby schools, and a better life for kids brought off the streets of Mysore.

If you want to learn more about Operation Shanti, visit their website at http://operationshanti.org.

We covered the progress of this project on our blog, please read more here! 
 
 

Projects are currently in development:

 
Local San Francisco Art Program 
San Francisco, CA

We are currently developing an afterschool art program in the tenderloin district of our beautiful city! We are developing a phot and mural program to begin with and then plan to add more programs as we expand.

Pine Ridge Lakota Youth Art Program 
Wanblee, South Dakota on the Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation

There is a teen suicide epidemic ravaging the Lakota community on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. The core of this issue is hopelessness, the children on the reservation have no opportunities and nothing to do and no one to listen to them. We are working with members of the Oglala Lakota community to develop an art program that could provide children and young adults an opportunity for artistic expression and a way to tell their stories.