Using the medium of art, GapArt gives therapy and pleasure to vulnerable, third world communities in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, India, Palestine and Nepal. In many cases it combines this with teaching individuals a vocational skill. It also creates a forum for cross cultural exchange and an educational experience for volunteer artists. We achieve this by sending volunteers overseas to support our projects.
James Chapman, the founder of GapArt, is an anthropologist and qualified teacher. He started his own gap year company in 1998 and has been responsible for over 3,000 successful volunteer placements. The cross cultural benefits of art are widely recognised and on the strength of this, GapArt was created.
Why we specialise in art projects
There are numerous volunteer projects dotted across the world which have benefitted from the support of individual volunteers. These include schools, orphanages, rehabilitation centres for disabled people and safe houses for people who have fallen upon hard times.
Projects of this nature will always need volunteers but increasingly they need people with specific skills. These might include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, teaching English and the arts.
Volunteers with GapArt address this need. The projects we support are not front line, desperate initiatives and are unlikely to create headlines of their own. They are however humanitarian causes playing a vital role in supporting vulnerable people. These projects are well organised and provide adequate shelter, food, clothing and often an education for the residents. Life, however, remains difficult. The standard of living is rudimentary. There are none of the creature comforts that we take for granted. Imagine living in a shelter with bare concrete walls, concrete floors and the drudgery of surviving to keep you going until tomorrow.
How your art skills can help deliver change
As a volunteer with GapArt you can help change this. The joy and often therapy that art can bring to people’s lives has been widely recognised. It can heal wounds, open imaginations and break down cultural barriers. That’s why we need your art skills to support these projects.
- Create a massive wall mural at a centre for disabled children in Sri Lanka
- Teach textile skills to landmine victims in Cambodia
- Create a sculpture with HIV children in India
- Paint a school devastated by the earthquake in Nepal
- Paint a section of the Israeli – Palestinian wall to raise awareness of the brutal divide
You don’t need qualifications, just a good basic level of art skills. Whether you’ve just left school or university, or are looking for a career or summer holiday break, we would love to hear from you. Take a look at how we started, read about countries we work with such as India, Nepal, Palestine, Cambodia and Sri Lanka, and then complete the application form or contact us.