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GOOD WORKS: EVERY CHILD IS AN ARTIST

Markers, crayons, pastels, paints, glitter glue, construction paper. These are the early creative tools of any kid artist-in-the-making (and the occasional grownup who really appreciates an arts-and-craft moment). In some parts of the world, however, there are children who’ve never had the opportunity to hold a paintbrush or experience the singular joy of opening a fresh carton of Crayolas.

Enter MTree, the nonprofit organization focused on bringing arts education to underprivileged and severely marginalized areas of Africa. Led by founder and C.E.O. Yohan Choi, MTree networks passionate professionals who value innovative actions of sharing to promote creative, independent, and sustainable life in developing countries. Since the organization’s first creative-art education program, Brush with Hope, was introduced in Benin, West Africa, Mtree has built up its incredible stories of change using visual art, fashion design, music, and eco-friendly soil architecture in remote villages in African countries. And Mtree’s latest effort continues to build upon that success: Its recently launched first major collaboration with mega specialty retailer Forever 21 is a one-of-a-kind tote bag capsule collection showcasing artworks from the Brush with Hope programs in Benin and Kenya. Each piece of artwork carries a special story—one of excitement, of hope, of wonderful aspiration—and each tote bag sold will go directly to support future Mtree fashion-design and arts education programs throughout Africa. Beautiful proof that a little art can go a long, long way.