Refugee artist’s work makes a difference in the United States

New Story: Friday, January 1st, 2016
Annan Kingsley pix

Georges Annan Kingsley is his name; a 47 year old talented artist and former Lecturer at the School of Fine Arts, University of Cocody in Abidjan.  He came to Ghana in 2011 as a refugee due to the political violence that erupted in Cote d’Ivoire at the time.

Being a Campaign Manager for one of the candidates for the Presidential elections in Cote d’Ivoire in 2011, his life came under threat from rebel forces. Just around the same time, he was diagnosed with kidney failure which required dialysis treatment.  To make matters worse, he couldn’t undergo regular dialysis treatment as required because the needed medicines to treat him were not available in both public and private medical facilities in the country due to the political situation at the time. It was under such circumstances that Kingsley fled from Abidjan to seek refuge in Ghana.

Through the support of UNHCR and Implementing partners, Kingsley received the necessary medical attention and dialysis treatments at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra. “If not for UNHCR, I would have been dead long ago. They paid my medical bills, provided moral support and even gave me money for transportation” Kingsley added.  The Durable Solutions Unit of UNHCR Representation in Ghana identified his condition and filed his case for resettlement on medical grounds.

In March 2013, Kingsley was admitted to a resettlement program of the United States.

Currently living in Hartford, USA with his family, Kingsley has not given up on his dream of becoming an accomplished artist in future. He teaches on part-time basis in a community school in Hartford

His passion for art is intact and whenever the opportunity presents itself, he participates in art exhibitions and community activities. A recent art contest organized by the Greater Hartford Art Council under the auspices of the Hartford Insurance Company saw Kingsley coming tops beating 8 other artists in the contest. His art work, which has been described by organizers as representing the spirit of the community- lively, colorful and full of possibilities- has been boldly displayed to beautify the concrete walls of the Asylum Hill-Hartford public garage.

Kingsley is still on dialysis treatment hoping to get a donor soon for a transplant. He is grateful to God, his family and UNHCR for all the support.

Story by: Patience Folley (Ms)