Ivonne Bezerra de Mello is an innovative artist who rescued over 1500 children from the slums in Rio de Janeiro, giving them shelter, food, and education. One of her approaches is to teach street children to paint. Some of these children are talented artists. They know how to draw weapons and scenes of violence, but Ivonne Bezerra de Mello teaches them how to paint flowers, symbols of peace. It is through drawings and paintings that these street-children learn to express their fears and needs. Art becomes their means of finding a meaning in life.
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Photo © City for the Cultures of Peace