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'Art for Orphans' to benefit children in war-torn Balkans


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November 13, 2002

One of the pictures created by orphans depicting a pink dove sitting a tree branch filled with brightly-colored flowersA sale of more than 30 original drawings, paintings and collages by elementary and high school children in Bosnia and Croatia takes place Friday, Nov. 15, from 5 to 7 p.m. in Jack Adams Hall of the Cesar Chavez Student Center. Proceeds will benefit WiRED (World Internet Resources for Education and Development), the nonprofit organization started by business professor Gary Selnow to address social and health problems at the grassroots level, using computer technology.

The artwork reflects a range of subjects and emotions, from a stark pen and ink drawing of tombstones to colorful depictions of turreted city buildings. Approximately 30 pieces will be displayed and available for sale, in prices ranging from $15 to $80.

WiRED has installed more than 15 information centers in the Balkans, where children can connect with educational resources and learn about cooperation. "I saw something remarkable in Kosovo," Selnow said. "Being online overcame feelings of isolation and disenfranchisement. We found extraordinary democracy-building and spirit-redeeming through use of the Internet."

Later this month, WiRED opens a facility at a Bosnian high school with a focus on providing students and faculty with information on diet and smoking cessation.

Other WiRED accomplishments include installing an Internet cafe in Nicaragua that provides free information access to healthcare workers and the poor, and a sustainable source of revenue for helping land-mine victims. In Kenya, WiRED installed computerized health information centers in 25 villages and small towns, providing information that helps prevent HIV/AIDS, malaria and other illnesses. In December, the effort expands to the University of Nairobi, the country's largest source of medical doctors. WiRED will install a 12-workstation educational center with e-library and Internet access that connects students to current health information worldwide.

The "Art for Orphans" sale is sponsored by the Marian Wright Edelman Institute for the Study of Children, Youth and Families at San Francisco State University. For more information, contact Janet Egiziano, director of special projects, Marian Wright Edelman Institute, at (415) 405-3560.

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Last modified November 13, 2002, by the Office of Public Affairs