Illustrator Rán Flygenring visited a SOS Children’s Village in Zimbabwe in October 2012.

There are three SOS Children’s Villages in the country. Flygenring visited the one localted in the southern part of the capital Harare. During her visit, she toured the village facilities, met mothers, children and staff and taught a couple of art classes at the primary school.

She translated the daily life of the village to into illustrations. Here are some of her sketches from her trip:

All the sketches are made during the trip, on location. Sometimes I draw directly what I see, sometimes I let it sink in and then sketch the most interesting/strange/memorable parts. This is my way of documenting and remembering.

Le Corbusier once supposedly said: “Don’t take photographs, draw;
Photography interferes with seeing, drawing etches into the mind.”
That quote explains it perfectly.


The most fun reactions on the sketches were the ones from the Zimbabweans themselves who found my attempts to draw huts and guineafowls as amusing as they found my snowmen and volcanos ridiculous!

As always, Flygenring’s illustrations are both humorous and humane, informative and easy to relate to. With endless aids that technology provides us with, they show that sometimes, the simplest of all methods – paper and pencils – is the most efficient way to go.

This suits the subject matter, too: Flygenring’s illustrations pierce through the jungle of international, inter-governmental initiatives, legislation, aid plans and programmes, bringing the important work of SOS Children’s Villages to a human level by simply telling the story of another kind of an everyday life.

These illustrations are a fantastic showcase of using visual communication in order to deliver messages – just a few pages from Flygenring’s notebook are so much more powerful than a report printed on a pile of A4s, don’t you think?


For more of Rán’s work, take a look here.

Illustrations by Rán Flygenring