Bright Futures for Every Child, Every Nation

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The Memory Project

At tmemoryproject2he 2014 Global Summit on Childhood, ACEI was proud to feature the work of the Memory Project. The Memory Project is a unique initiative in which art students create portraits for children and teens around the world who have been neglected, orphaned, or disadvantaged.

In 2003, while volunteering at an orphanage in Guatemala, Memory Project founder Ben Schumaker learned that the children had few special belongings to represent moments of their childhood. He started The Memory Project in order to provide children with special memories that capture a piece of their childhood.

To do this, art students receive photos of children on the Memory Project's waiting list and then work in any medium to create the portraits (drawing, painting, digital art, collage, etc). Next, the Memory Project delivers the portraits to the children as gifts. They also take photos of the children holding the portraits so the art students can see the delivery in action.

The Memory Project was officially founded in 2004. To date, the project has created nearly 50,000 portraits for children in 34 countries. At the Summit, ACEI displayed a dozen Memory Project portraits throughout the event space, inviting delegates to connect with the project and with the children represented in the portraits. Learn more about the Memory Project here.