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Mural Paintings for the Children
Written by Minji Kwon | Published. 2020.04.07 14:29 | Count : 702

I have enjoyed participating in volunteer activities for a long time. Throughout my freshman year, I used to be in charge of special events in the UNICEF club, and I also cleaned up public parks for my communities. As usual, during my sophomore year, I was searching for volunteering opportunities that I could participate in with my friends. Then, I came across the volunteering club called the ‘HuMom’. Excited, I immediately signed up with HuMom. HuMom’s previous volunteer activities and heartwarming pictures with smiles all captured my attention.

Two days before volunteering, the club president informed us about the nursery that we were going to volunteer in. She then announced that we would paint murals for children. She showed us some pictures of the nursery that captured my attention. The walls of the nursery in the pictures looked very empty, dark, and grim. I recounted my past school years, and remembered that the paintings on my school’s walls really brightened up the mood of my school life. For example, whenever I passed the walls that had smiling faces, I used to get happy for no other reason at all. I could just imagine the happy faces of the children when they see the pictures I would paint on their walls.

On the day of volunteering, I woke up early, and imagined the brightly colored wall while eating my breakfast. My friend told me that it would take one and a half hour to get to the nursery. On the way to the nursery, I searched up some mural paintings and watched videos about how to mix different colors to form a nice balance. When I arrived at the nursery, I couldn’t help but notice the plain and gloomy walls surrounding the building. While I was scanning the nursery, I encountered one of the directors. I asked him what he expected from us, and he kindly smiled at me, saying that he did not expect anything big, but just an earnest effort. He continuously expressed his gratitude by repeatedly saying “thank you” to me and my friends. This sincere gratitude really touched my heart, making my eyes filled up with tears. I knew I would continue on with my volunteering career. 

I was assigned to Group 4, and was in charge of painting. After looking at the background sketch, I went outside and picked up a paint brush. I then chose bright and vivid paint colors (red, orange, and yellow) because I knew that those colors convey the happiest mood. 

[Painting the wall in red. Photo Credit: Eleanor Seo]

In the middle of our painting work, I looked around at other group’s murals. All volunteers strived to reflect their artistic talents on the wall. They were collaborating, sharing their ideas, and helping each other. From this, I learned that through volunteering, we are not only helping others, but also learning how to cooperate. 

[Drawing two human figures using blue paint. Photo Credit: Eleanor Seo]
[Students cooperating and sharing their opinions to paint the background. Photo Credit: Sarang Kim]

While we were working, it was very cold inside the nursery. Heater was not working, and all volunteers shivered in cold. I felt as if I was stuck inside an igloo. However, since we all knew that young children would have to stay inside this dreary nursery, the spark of sympathy lit up our determination. We wanted to make the nursery as cheery and fun as possibly for the kids.

[Final mural paintings. Photo Credit: Sarang Kim and Wendy Choi] 
[Final mural paintings. Photo Credit: Sarang Kim and Wendy Choi] 
[Final mural paintings. Photo Credit: Sarang Kim and Wendy Choi] 

After few more hours, we were almost done, and the walls began to shimmer in waves of bright colors. It was all harmony, and happy satisfied smiles all around. I finally looked around the changed walls, the breathtaking murals that we had created. I really hoped that these paintings would leave huge impressions on the nursery children. 

Minji Kwon
Sophomore (Grade 10)
Seoul Scholars International

Minji Kwon  student_reporter@dherald.com

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