His passion for art saved him from a dark place, and his goal is to share that with the world.Local art teacher Mark Jenneker has put his past behind him and uses his skill and love for children and the arts to help inspire and motivate children stay off the streets and in the classrooms (“The art of giving”, People’s Post, 17 October).Jenneker started off only teaching at Yellowwood Primary school and after telling his story, has since been approached to start teaching at Westville Primary School as well.His recent, most popular project includes tasking his children with drawing President Cyril Ramaphosa. “I wanted to make the children aware that we have a new president and that is why I shared it on social media as well. Changes are coming and they enjoyed it,” he says.He draws inspiration from all around him and engages with the children and would love to take his classes to more schools.“I had a gold winner in a provincial art competition. If I can do it here, I can do it at other schools as well,” he says.This is why he started and registered his non-profit organisation, The Mark Jenneker Foundation. “I want to use the organisation to go to all the schools in Mitchell’s Plain that don’t have art programmes,” he says.Not only in the hope of promoting art, but also helping to find employment for young artists. “There are so many learners who matriculate and then they don’t have jobs. I want to create an art programme where learners from art high schools can help facilitate classes at other schools as part of the foundation. For this I need more principals and donors on board,” he says.Children have found a love for art at his school and principal of Yellowwood Primary, Donnoval Senosi says he is blessed to have Jenneker at the school and encourages more principals to enlist his help and use his contacts. “He is so humble in his approach and not only to the arts but to the child as a whole,” says Senosi.Jenneker also thanked his recent donors who have contributed thus far, including Liberty Promenade and Checkers. V To donate or get involved, call Jenneker on 078 637 8853.