Published: October 01, 2020
Published: October 01, 2020

Feeanine Safely Brings Color to Suriname in Times of Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic brought our COLORFUL COMMUNITIES® projects to an abrupt halt nearly six months ago. But today, we are thrilled to share the story of Feeanine Hewitt-Abrahams and her team of volunteers, who have successfully (and safely) completed an inspiring project in Paramaribo, Suriname. This has brought color and life to a gray and dull community center for young people, much needed in these turbulent times.

Finding New and Safe Ways to Make a Positive Change

Feeanine is our marketing officer at PPG Varossieau, Suriname and has been working there since July 2010. With a background in social work, Feeanine has a passion for helping children and young people who are struggling. Having led numerous Colorful Communities events, she’s always on the lookout for new ways to bring color and life to her local community.

The organization of community engagement events is my favorite part of the job. It is where I get a chance to really make a positive change.

On a day-to-day basis, her duties also include managing the marketing budget, creating marketing materials, product management, customer satisfaction, public relations and organizing events and monthly promotions. Feeanine is also responsible for the publication of their quarterly newsletter, keeping online content up to date, and communicating with customers via social media.

As a naturally versatile person, she loves the variety her work gives her. She shares her passion for where she works by throwing herself into making PPG known to the outside world and giving it a face. When she’s away from the office, Feeanine enjoys spending her free time with her husband and three beautiful sons.

Stimulating Creativity in Young People

The Sabi Yu Kondre Foundation (Know Your Country) is located in Paramaribo, Suriname. It offers positive, productive, and recreational educational activities to support the constructive development of Surinamese youth, increasing their chances of becoming successful citizens.

Their environment, however, was not exactly stimulating thanks to the very long, dirty, gray wall on the property.

As the aim of the foundation is to motivate and inspire young people, we wanted to make their surroundings more expressive and cheerful – a place that would stimulate creativity.

Commitment to Communities During COVID-19

Teaming up with her colleague Ingrid Koemar, environment, health and safety manager, they prepared a comprehensive risk assessment. Under their supervision, the team followed extensive PPG COVID-19 safety guidelines throughout the project, including mask, glove and safety goggle use; frequent hand washing and sanitization; temperature checks; and social distancing.

So when a thoroughly sanitized 11-strong team turned up at the Sabi Yu Kondre Foundation with 70 liters of HISTOREX™ paints, a community space that inspires collaboration and creativity was born. Local youth TV station, ABC Weekly, even turned up to report on the event!

Among them, was local artist Fabian de Randamie, who has worked with the team on numerous projects. He first had to clean the long gray wall with a high-pressure spray gun. Then he and his team, True Colors, created a picture on the wall, which the volunteers turned from gray and ugly into a colorful work of art.

Helping the Socially-distanced and Surinamese Way

According to our partners from The Sabi Yu Kondre Foundation, the team’s efforts have “literally brought life and color to our life”.

The thing that really struck Feeanine on this project, was the dedication, high spirits, and sense of teamwork that everyone came with. She was touched that the team enjoyed themselves so much, even despite the inconvenience of the personal protective equipment.

It was a wonderful and especially fun day. With not only painting, but also dancing and laughing… It’s the Surinamese way of doing things! All socially-distanced, of course!