This month at Beyond the Orphanage (BTO) we’ve been celebrating spring here in Australia and back to school season in Ethiopia, both times of new beginnings. In the past couple of months six new children have joined the BTO program and we are excited that we can change each of those children’s lives with our community...Read now
Beyond the Orphanage (BTO) is extremely fortunate to be supported by a community of people who give of their time and their talents to support the children in Ethiopia. We welcome innovation when it comes to raising awareness and funds for the children who so truly need our help. It’s where artwork meets charity.
One of our long time supporters, Giselle Antmann, a Sydney-based artist who has exhibited extensively in Australia including the National Gallery of Australia and in the UK is using her gift for art and literature to make a difference to the children at BTO.
Giselle has written and illustrated an ebook for children entitled, ‘The Yawn That Grew’ from which 100% of proceeds will go to Beyond the Orphanage. What is the book about? It is seven unusual stories about two adventurous boys, a lonely boot, a giant golden fish, a flower, a burning piece of coal and a porcelain plate that escapes a dusty life in a china cabinet. All seven heroes overcome an unpredictable challenge that leads to self-acceptance, transformation or freedom. The vivid fable like events and the touches of absurd humour are also meaningful and enjoyable for adults who read these stories to boys and girls aged five and beyond. The Yawn that Grew is available from amazon and itunes.
Giselle was kind enough to answer some questions about her work and her support of BTO.
So how did she find us? “One magic word, ‘Google’, BTO jumped out at me and I had been looking for projects to support from the sale of my paintings. I had been very moved by the plight of Ethiopia for years and BTO felt right.” Giselle sent an email ‘into the ether’ and soon she met with one of the BTO founders, Geoff Hucker, who told her more about us and what we do.
“I was very impressed with Geoff’s warmth and dedication. As an artist and experienced educator I could see that BTO created everything that I believe is essential for children to thrive,” Giselle said.
“They get the supported with the essentials of food, shelter, community, healthcare and education while recovering from their trauma. Their sense of family, belonging, trust, human connection and self worth is all the while being nourished by the wonderful visionaries of BTO.”
As someone with a migrant past Giselle says it is, ‘personally meaningful’ for her to be able to contribute. She says, “I sponsor one child and he knows that I have provided for his ongoing studies through a scholarship set out in my will.”
Giselle has sold many paintings through her website and exhibitions and from these sales she donates 90% to her chosen charities including Beyond the Orphanage. You can view her extensive collection of artwork for charity, available for sale here.
Do you have a fundraising idea that could help the children at BTO? We would love to hear your idea and welcome you to the BTO community, info[@]beyondtheorphanage.org.
By Jo Smith
An example of Giselle Antmann’s art, ‘The Alchemist’ and ‘Red Poppy Dreams of Being a Red Rose’