KUWAIT: Kuwait Association for the Care of Children in Hospital (KACCH) and Bayt Abdullah Children’s Hospice (BACCH) held the opening of the Heartful Charitable Art Exhibition & Auction on Saturday at Bayt Abdullah, which is the first and still the only children’s hospice in the Middle East. Scheduled to run for three days, the event showcases and sells diverse pieces by 45 local artists and a special edition of artworks painted by the children staying at the hospital.
The aim of this event is to bring together art enthusiasts, art curators, philanthropists and the local community to learn more about the facilities of KACCH and BACCH and contribute directly with their purchase of the artworks to offer free psychosocial and palliative care to children in Kuwait.
Regarding the event’s vital role in supporting the initiative of the organization, Margaret Al-Sayer, OBE, Co-Founder and Founding Director of KACCH & BACCH, said: “As we embark on this artistic journey, let us be mindful of the exhibition’s purpose — to raise awareness about the importance of psychosocial support for children in hospitals, ensure the delivery of crucial palliative care for children with life-limiting conditions and raise essential funds for the sustainability of KACCH & BACCH’s free pediatric services.”
Dr Hilal Al-Sayer, President of KACCH & BACCH, highlighted that for the past 15 years, the community’s generous donations were the backbone behind the organization running. “It’s from the community to the community — we built the whole place from the community, by the charity of people,” he said. Dr Hilal Al-Sayer and Margaret Al-Sayer noted this place provides an opportunity for all children suffering from life-threatening illnesses to live the best quality of life, and one of the reasons why they chose to hold an art exhibition is that they recognized art as a very crucial part of the children’s palliative care journey.
Margaret Al-Sayer said that this can easily be spotted on the walls that are filled with their paintings. “Children love painting and art. Give them space and some colors, and they will do anything for you,” she said. Dr Hilal Al-Sayer echoed her words: “They express themselves through art.” The curating team of Maha Alasaker and Yousif Abdulsaid expressed their pride of being part of this remarkable event, which reflects their collaborative effort that lasted for three months to bring this exhibition to life. Abdulsaid said it’s their first time to participate in such a cause, which feels overwhelmingly beautiful to be able to add meaningful value to these children’s lives.
Mohammed Kassim, an architect and creator who contributed with one of his artworks to the exhibition, said in the world of architecture where everyone is focused on maximizing their profit margin, it’s very important for some artists to break the norm and do something for the community. “I try to keep myself balanced, where my professional life is about profit margins...but when I have my own space and my own time, I want to give something back to the world and not just take,” Kassim said.