Paint the World International Concert

On February 15, an international concert organized by an organization called “Paint the World” took place in Kuching, Malaysia. If you’re wondering why it should be an interesting topic for GEORGIA TODAY, here’s the twist: the founder of the Paint the World organization, and hence, one of the main organizers of the international concert, is Lika Torikashvili, Georgia’s Youth Ambassador to the United Nations.

Lika told us that the international concert featured many speakers from around the globe, and brought colors to the lives of young people with disabilities and severe illnesses. But that’s not all. Getting to know the work Paint the World is doing will revive your faith in humanity. So, to bring some colors into your own life and read on.

What does the project you're currently working on aim to accomplish?

Paint the World - Gauperade Samkaro - was originally established in 2012. I was 14 at that time, and I wanted to find a way to contribute to society. I noticed that some people live “grey” or “black and white” lives, because they are suffering or going through difficult times and need support. That’s how the idea was born “to paint the world”. I associate colors with happiness, and I thought that my friends and I could find more like-minded young people and unite to bring colors, smiles and positivity. Our target was places where young people were undergoing treatment, or lacked support: we started going to orphanages, hospitals, centers for young people with disabilities, old folks’ houses. We painted their world by using all the skills and resources we had: made them dance, sing, organized carnivals and concerts, performed plays and held magic shows, asked famous TV stars to join us and visit the kids with us. And every time, we had tons of colorful objects with us- balloons, facepaints, toys, and presents: we wanted our visits to be very colorful, metaphorically and literally. Soon, the Movement went international and now we have many supporters and various branches around the world.

How did Malaysia start to “Paint the World”?

When I left Georgia to study in UWC Atlantic College, I met my future best friend and soulmate Aziza Aznizan. Together, we decided that Paint the World needed to be an international movement, because everyone needs those colors of positivity, all around the world.

So, we decided to bring the idea of Paint the World to Malaysia. Alongside the message of activism and empathy, we also sent a message of peace. Aziza and I are sending a very powerful message to the world. Aziza is a Muslim girl from Malaysia; I am a Jew from Georgia. And we are painting the world TOGETHER. We are celebrating our differences and showing the world that differences must unite people, not separate them. We not only paint the world, but also promote peace and unity, because without those the world will always lack color.

What was the concert about? Who do you plan to bring "colors" to now?

“We have been organizing a Paint the World Concert in Malaysia for the past 4 years.

“The purpose of the concert is to brighten the day of young people with disabilities and severe illnesses.

“We put together a program and invited guests that could help the kids feel uplifted and cheerful. In total, we hosted 300 children from orphanages, centers for the deaf and blind, centers for children with autism and centers with children with disabilities. We also had 400+ youth volunteers from all over Malaysia, helping to us to bring it all together.

“We made everyone dance and sing all day long, showed performances and even made the little guests participate in a fashion show, where they had to walk alongside professional models.

“The message of the concert was to share knowledge about sustainability, wildlife preservation, women’s right to education, youth leadership and entrepreneurship. We had guest speakers at the event- Young Peace activists and Malala Yousafzai’s friends Kainat Riaz and Shazia Ramzan.

“This year, the concert was supported by the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Sarawak, Borneo, and we had the pleasure to host the Minister of Youth, Datuk Karim, who is now a very good friend of Paint the World. It means a lot to us that now we have the official support of the Government of Malaysia”.

Lika shared with us, that she, too, had doubts about realizing her dream. But as she fought the hard current of challenges, her story became an inspiration to many who want to make this world a better place.

“A long time ago, I would have considered myself a dreamer. I wanted to paint the entire world. But today that is exactly what my friends and I are doing- not only in Georgia, but internationally. We have run projects in countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Swaziland, Mozambique, Lebanon, Indonesia, Oman, Serbia, Spain, the UK, and Timor-Leste. And we don’t plan to stop any time soon!

“The story of Paint the World is a real life example that you must dare to dream big- because dreams turn into goals and goals turn into reality.”

By Nini Dakhundaridze

20 February 2020 18:44