I always wanted to teach arts and crafts to street people.

Unfortunately, teachers are required to sign agreements that they will not make friends with "clients", keeping their relationship strictly "professional".

I refused, and opportunity to do so soon arrived in another way.

It was quite different from the usual arts and crafts course.




Usually, Stefy stands on her knees on the corner begging for money. One can often see her sitting under the closed doors of the church, like some abandoned Madonna. "What do you do?" I asked her. "Nothing", she answered, "walking alone, serenading myself..."

When I proposed her to dress like a Madonna for Christmas and sit in the window, Stefy said she did not want to have children, because when they grow up they will marry the Internet. She fantasized how she would put 12 empty baby carriages for each child not born in the window, but somehow never got around to it.

Instead, she began to make me a rosary from the beads she found among the art supplies ...standing on her knees, of course.


Stefy also makes little hearts and flowers from straps of paper wherever she goes.

Materials for her craft are available everywhere.


At times she would paint on cardboard.



Once while lying on the floor, she came up with a sign that laconically summed up what I expect from visitors. That day we gave Stefy the title of "Mission Statement Manager".

Often Stefy created installations such as icycles on a table, or piled up chairs as if it was a barricade. Though such actions might seem incomprehensible at first glance, they are attempts to express blocked emotions, and as such they are healthy.

Does human activity have value only if it translates into art hanging on the wall, or does it have value also as an individual's attempt, no matter how childish, to communicate?

I am glad I did not sign an agreement to see street people only as "clients". They are looking for sincere love, and they tend to be motivated not by ambition, but by a desire to make friends.