How this 17 year old boy uses CovART to help children in Kenya

TORONTO – A 17 year old boy from Kingston, Ont. was inspired to give back this summer as he saw the impact of the pandemic on access to education for African youth.

Evan Sharma, the founder of CovART Challenge, decided he wanted to do something to help people in need this summer, and after talking to friends and watching the news, he decided to use his art to help the student Offering meals in Kenya.

The project started with Sharma and eight other artists donating pieces to the auction, then asking two other artists to donate pieces, which in turn challenged two more artists to donate, and so on.

“I realized that Africa wasn’t the hardest hit in terms of case numbers, but because of the educational impact of the pandemic,” Sharma told CTV News Channel on Saturday.

He also has a personal relationship with the continent as his grandparents are from Egypt and Kenya.

“I really felt it was necessary to help out there,” he said.

Artists from all over Canada, the United States, and Africa have donated pieces to the challenge, and the public can bid on them. The funds will be used to feed thousands of children in Kenya through a partnership with Flying Kites, a non-profit that helps a network of students in Kenya.

“We have already collected enough for 150,000 meals from these works of art,” he said.

His own piece, a painting by Nelson Mandela, painted over a background of a young Mandela in prison on Robben Island, will be auctioned. He said he wanted to tell a story with the piece and used the layering technique to do this.

And it’s not too late to take on the challenge. You can still bid on available pieces, and artists can submit their portfolios to CovARTChallenge.com through Tuesday, March 9th at 12 noon EST.

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