On July 22, 2022, Restore Children and Family Services sponsored the first major in-person event in two years, an art and photography competition and exhibit.  The event was held in the IEC Convention Center in Cebu City.  Ninety people attended, including children and youth (who received or are currently undergoing therapeutic intervention with Restore), the clients’ families, support persons, and

shelter partners. The event was graced by Restore’s founders and directors, Mae Sampani-Del Mundo and Atty. Mark Del Mundo as well as members of the board, Cherry Macalino and Jenny Ninan.  The two categories of the competition were art and photography, and the theme was Courage and Hope. The aim of the event was to employ a therapeutic intervention that assists young trauma survivors to externally express their thoughts, feelings and trauma history through art. 

The art competitors used various mediums including painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, and mixed media. Thirty-four clients entered the youth category and nine in the children category, a total of 43 entries.  The judging criteria were adherence to the theme, technical skill, originality, and overall impression.  Entries that garnered the top three scores from each category were awarded with a cash prize, a token, and a certificate.  

The winning entry in the youth category was a painting by an 18-year-old client. It renders a young girl confronting her past and gaining freedom and peace as represented by a lion, an angel and a dove.  In the children category, the top entry was a pencil drawing by a 10-year-old boy which portrayed the biblical David preparing to face Goliath with the inscription “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  

The Art and Photo Exhibit also included a photography competition. Restore incorporated a photo therapy program, a weekly meeting that enhances the intensive therapy sessions.  The six participants were recognized for their commitment to complete the two-month program.  Professional photographers judged the artistic interpretation and quality of the photographs of the four entries.  The winning photo depicted a silhouette of a flower, with the caption: I see hope in sunsets because they portray that the day is over and that there is another tomorrow. Sunsets give me the courage to live another day as the cycle continues. 

After the award ceremony and messages of appreciation to the Restore program participants, the event was capped off by intermission. The display of talent from this initiative will jump start a series of art festivals that encompasses various art form. The festival may be Restore’s major event in the coming year.  

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