How You Can Grow Your Child’s Heart for the World {Guest Post by Britta Stromeyer Esmail}


How You Can Grow Your Child’s Heart for the World

In 2015, we took our two daughters Maya and Anya to Kenya. For our oldest (then 6 years old) it was her fourth visit but the first she would remember. Her father grew up in Kenya and we have family there.

Besides fun tourist activities, visiting the national park and going to the beach in Mombasa, we believe it is important for our daughters to see how other children live across the world. We want to teach them that there are kids that don’t have a traditional family setting as they know it, and often lack many resources which we take for granted.

I still remember Maya and Anya standing in front of a shed with a hole in the ground and a small tub of water asking me what it was. Looking in their incredulous eyes, I explained it was the bathroom.

Maya who loves to draw and be creative with crafts was also surprised to learn how little the kids had to play with. At home she has an abundance of drawing paper and markers so she can pursue her passion to draw daily. There, kids that liked to draw use scraps of paper or discarded postcards to do so. Any white space on a piece of paper they found was a scared treasure.

With the recent drought in Kenya, even more people are suffering. As we began planning our visit for 2017, Maya decided she wanted to help in the only way she knows how, by drawing. She decided to collect her own favorite drawings to create a Kid-to-Kid Coloring Book and sell it to make money for her friends in Kenya.

When I look at the finished product, I am still in awe of her Imagination and creativity. At 7 years old she is determined to help those that have less because she truly dreams of a fantastic colorful world for all.

Many of the characters in her book have names. There is Rainbow Sky who thought she had lost her mother but reunites with her in the Rainbow Sky.

Cheetah Girl, Unicorn Girl and Cat Girl live in an orphanage in the wild and have to work hard every day to survive. But they never lose their spirit and special powers.

Meet Midnight who spreads her love of animals.

All of them are special to Maya and she invites other kids to create their own story around them. Her detailed drawings are not just for kids but adults that dare to dream and imagine or enjoy mindful coloring exercises. Maya’s coloring book is available via Createspace Store or Amazon. Every purchase helps and generates money for the orphans.

Through her artwork Maya wants to raise awareness and engage others in giving back. As her mother I could not be prouder and even her little sister Anya has been so supportive, exploring her inner sales guru and telling all her friends about what her sister is doing. More info on this project and fun videos from her sister on Maya’s Facebook Page.

Purchase a copy of Fantasy Art: A Kid-to-Kid Coloring Book


Maya lives in California. She loves art, fantasy characters and books. When she is not reading, she enjoys being silly with her sister, chatting with her friends or spending time with her animals.

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