spread your wings (idiom): to use your abilities for the first time in your life to do new and exciting things
Read this post beforehand for some context. Below, all the research we did to conduct the CAS project has been hyperlinked.
Our service is a brand new service, so we had a lot of ideas and plans in mind. The one that we decided to tackle first was to make a mural in the garage of the transitional center, to make the place truly ours, but also to welcome the girls. It took around 3 weeks to complete after prior planning (LO3) and I am so proud of the outcome and the level of commitment that each member of the service displayed in making the mural come to life (LO4), which will be shown in this blog post.
Making a mural was something completely new to us as a group and although we, as leaders, had some experience with making a mural, we had never worked on it together with a larger group of people and on a much larger wall (LO2). For example, we knew using stencils would be more efficient time-wise so while planning, so we brought up this idea during the planning process, and it benefitted us because we both had experience with stencils (LO1).
We found it important that our mural had some meaning and thought. We wanted to express the significance of the global issue (LO6) of how the sexual abuse survivors can move forward in their daily lives and transition back into society as well.
The first step we took was to come up with a design. We found a picture on Pinterest which uses magazine cutouts in the shape of bird silhouettes (below on the right) and used it as inspiration for our own design (below on the left).
We incorporated the same silhouettes but instead, I decided to use pastel colors because they have a calming effect and because they are reminiscent of spring, which is a time of rebirth. I thought the birds were also a great idea because they are often symbolic of discovery and freedom.
Kaavya, from Emerge, also said the mural could be a backdrop for when they take graduation pictures who will stay at the residential transitional center. They only stay at the center for 3 months before they leave and ‘graduate’. In a similar vein, the birds flying upwards is a reflection of how the girls will graduate and leave the ‘nest’ that is the transitional center onto even more ambitious things!
We painted the wall from yellow to white because when yellow is overused, it can “have a disturbing effect”.
We also wanted to include a quote, but we had to be mindful that it would be inspirational and not insensitive (LO7). Ariana found a good quote which we decided to use because it was meaningful in the context of what they’ve been through: “No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again”.
We ran into a problem where we tried to paint the patterns from my initial mock up design, but they didn’t turn out as nicely or as harmonious as we would’ve liked. The patterns clashed with each other too much. In the end, after suggestions from all our different members of the service, we just used solid colors that still stood out against the white wall (LO5).
I’m very proud of the service group as a whole for cooperating and committing themselves to finishing the mural. The process took many visits over many weeks and maintaining our interest was quite difficult but we pulled through in the end (LO4). It taught me how important it is to communicate even when we ran into problems (the patterns) and also allowed us to grow closer as a group. I can’t wait for the girls at the center to see it and hopefully like it as much as we do!
Thank you so much Ms. Johnson for all the supplies, Ms. Dahlan and Ms. Kuruppu for your support.