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Painter Travels World to Bring Children Joy

Friday, August 8, 2014

A 7-year-old victim of severe physical abuse finally found peace while sitting on the tusks of a big strong elephant.

The boy in the 4 by 3-meter mural painted on the wall of Haven Home in Bacolod City by Spanish painter Adrián Torres, had, for years, been badly beaten up by his own father.

Last month, after yet another severe beating the Bacolod police and social welfare personnel brought the boy to Kalipay Negrense Foundation that has provided a safe haven for him.

Kalipay Negrense Foundation cares for homeless, physically and sexually abused, malnourished, out of school and special children, its president Anna Balcells said.

The foundation runs Haven Home in Bacolod City, a “half-way” home or drop-in center for the newly rescued children, and Recovered Treasures Home in Bago City where the bulk of its 81 children live and go to school.

Torres, a 31-year-old artist from Cadiz in the south of Spain, is travelling the world visiting shelters for disadvantaged children. He brightens up the lives of the children at the homes he visits by painting bright colored murals, and letting the kids join in.

He kicked off his six-month mission in India at a center that cares for children suffering from cerebral palsy, and went on to Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

“All these travels are changing my life and I try to express these experiences in my paintings,” said Torres, who has a gallery back home.

In Cambodia, he worked for a month teaching children how to paint and after that they had a show, where an important hotel owner ordered paintings from them, he said.

Torres leaves Negros today after spending three weeks at the Kalipay homes, but he says he has fallen in love with the children and will return to teach them how to paint.