Who can resist children’s art, so enthusiastically free and simultaneously self-possessed? A fundraiser from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. today on the South Side offers a chance to buy framed paintings and drawings by children who are residents of the Trinitas House, an orphanage in Malawi, Africa. The event will also include food and beverages and entertainment by the Young Lions African Drummers Dancers from Sankofa Village of the Arts.
It’s being held at the studio of artist Elizabeth Castonguay, Creation Art Studio/Gallery, in the Riverwalk Corporate Center on Terminal Street. The orphanage was co-founded by Bill Soisson, a Connellsville native and father of Pittsburgh arts patron Laura Horner.
Ms. Horner and her siblings spent their youth in Malawi, where her parents were missionaries, and a slide show at the event will show images of those years. A few years ago, Mr. Soisson returned to the orphanage.
Ms. Castonguay, who has exhibited extensively, including in Associated Artists of Pittsburgh Annuals, has volunteered with at-risk inner-city teenage boys for two decades.
The orphanage in Zomba serves a core group of about 400 children and up to 2,000, most under 6 years old. The organization’s primary focus is to provide proper nutrition, achieved with a porridge of maize, beans and other local grains known as Likuni Phala that was formulated by a sister of the Our Lady of Africa order in the 1960s. The cost of feeding a child one serving daily for a year is $11.
The orphanage tries to find homes for the children with family members or friends, a task made harder by the large number of HIV-related deaths that left them without parents. All proceeds benefit the orphans.