More than a dozen countries and hundreds of schools participated in the first-ever World Kids Coloring Day to promote creativity and give children a chance to raise money for various charities.
In Cambodia, the event raised money for The Cambodia Daily’s mosquito net campaign, which purchases nets for rural villagers.
On May 6, 100 children ages 6 to 11 from Phnom Penh’s iCAN British International School sat for 45 minutes coloring in freehand before judges picked the best pictures and awarded more than $300 in prizes from German-based Staedtler, who sponsored the event.
“Ît was very difficult to judge,” said Teoh Ook Kiat, one of the three judges and also executive director of Goodhill Enterprise Cambodia, Staedtler’s local distributor. “I was surprised to see that their pictures were very nicely drawn.”
Afterward, the pictures were auctioned to parents and teachers, bringing in $55. Together with a $45-donation from Goodhill, the money will purchase 20 mosquito nets for rural villagers via The Cambodia Daily’s Mosquito Net Campaign.
“We thought it was a worthwhile cause…. This is a program that depends on public donations,” Teoh Ook Kiat said in an interview Wednesday.
Along with fighting Malaria and Dengue Fever, the World Coloring Day event encouraged creativity, Teoh Ook Kiat said.
“Basically, we wanted to stimulate creativity and give the students a platform to display their talents,” he said.
Teoh Ook Kiat said he’d like to see the World Coloring Day repeat next year with more participating schools. “It’s one more way to promote the arts,” said Lori Hasting, principal of 300-student iCAN.
Hasting said her students used their prize money to purchase school supplies, but would gladly have donated all their prize money toward purchasing mosquito nets, especially since two of their own teachers are currently absent with Dengue Fever.
“I think [the students] recognize the benefits of mosquito nets,” Hasting said by telephone Wednesday.