Gustavo Hymon began his studies in Social Work in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Sometime later, he undertook a backpacking trip with Mariela, his partner. This experience made him discover different cultures, landscapes and flavours, and even led him to rethink his future.
It was then that he decided to settle in Geneva, where he continued his studies by distance learning. Later, he began working at Hospice Général, an organization focused on social work, while Mariela ran her own architecture studio.
However, Gustavo’s plans moved on. He noticed that, at the end of the school year, the children did not keep their school supplies or even threw them away. And that is how the project called Crayons Copains began. “I realized that what I was looking for was a project that was so simple but complex at the same time: recycling and giving a second chance to many items for writing and drawing, and also creating and sharing drawings and messages from children! It is about understanding that with so little we can go back to the bases and help people who might not have the same luck as ours,” he explained in a previous interview.
This project aims at providing children with school supplies so thanks to them, their intellectual and creative skills can be developed successfully. Writing and drawing items reach children who need them and to accompany them in their intellectual and creative development. Therefore, Gustavo prepares boxes that are filled with supplies and then, he recycles them and sends the boxes away. Each box weighs around five kilograms and includes a drawing made by children from the class that donate those items: “Drawings are free style, although I suggest kids drawing something related to themselves so that they share that with other children in the world. By doing so, children get to learn about other people’s culture and compare and contrast their own with it. And we see that the boys describe their experiences, their realities, their neighbourhood, their favourite town, cities and spots.”
Little by little all boxes arrive in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Angola, Colombia, Chile and Argentina. Crayons Copains teaches children to take care of the environment, to value the things they have and to share them with the ones who need it the most.