Over the Wall


The Garden of Siloam Mural ProjectKenya

The Garden of Siloam Mural Project

Africa is currently going through major advancements and Kenya in particular has entered a period of high economic growth, with a rush on construction that has caused the costs of land and building material to rocket upwards. This economic growth casts a shadow, within which it is difficult for children with disabilities to receive visibility. The number of specialists and facilities that can provide appropriate medical care and education for children with disabilities is limited. Medical insurance and welfare services are also almost non-existent, so the families of these children are facing financial difficulties. Discrimination and prejudice is also rife and there are many families raising their children with a sense of shame.
I was impressed by the activities of Kazuko Kumon, a pediatrician who runs the Garden of Siloam for children with disabilities and their parents in Kenya, and so we launched this project to create a mural together with disabled children in the region that will serve as a symbol of the facility.

The Garden of Siloam

This facility, established in 2015, provides rehabilitation and education support for Kenyan children with disabilities and their family members. It is run by Dr. Kazuko Kumon, a Japanese pediatrician. The aim is to provide high-quality education and medical care that meets the different needs of each individual. Further, they offer support for the creation of a loving, safe environment and work to help the children and their family members make the most of what they have so that they can feel joy in life.

Mural Theme

In Kenya, children with disabilities and their family members have been subject to discrimination and prejudice. Moreover, due to the economic situation and insufficient infrastructure, it is difficult for the children to use buses or other public transportation or to have access to wheelchairs, so they are forced to stay at home all the time. Those circumstances mean self-affirmation and proving one’s existence is extremely hard. However, we believe that by encouraging the natural sensibilities and expressiveness that children have so that they can create one-of-a-kind artwork, they can feel pride in their individuality.

The meaning behind the naming of the Garden of Siloam is that various different shapes, colors, sizes, and things are what makes a garden beautiful. Our image was therefore to paint a picture of a garden on one of the walls at the Garden of Siloam; one that would include unique flowers drawn by the children. Each child painted petals one by one to create large symbolic flowers.

Creating an Art Relay Flag

Each year, along with creating a permanent mural for the project country, Over the Wall also makes a flag to be given to the children of the next country where the project will be held.
At the previous location, Benin, we created a flag together with the local children to pass on to the children of Palau.
Next year, this flag will travel on to Palau, the location of our next project.

Completion of The Garden of Siloam Mural Project

Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I walk through the early morning mist, seeing the mural faintly ahead of me. Being in this high-altitude region means that, even in August, the temperatures are low and my exhaled breath turns white.
This might be the first time though that I’ve painted a mural in such a quiet environment.
With not a soul around, the Garden of Siloam is magical. It’s beautiful and calming, almost like heaven. I gaze at the mural while thinking about the schedule for today’s work. But I find it hard to envision the image of the main flower that I am supposed to paint with the children and still remains untouched. After a while of standing like this, Meschack, wearing an apron, comes up to me smiling.

“Habari gani?”
“Nzuri sana!”

This simple exchange makes me naturally smile. Most likely, breakfast is ready. He shyly points to the conference room. Days in the Garden of Siloam are very tranquil and I instinctively feel at peace.

But creating the mural here had me facing a series of new challenges. How would I ensure children with disabilities can paint the mural together with me? How would I make sure that their intentions are reflected in the artwork? The more I thought about it, the more difficult the task seemed to become and my concerns increased about this new collaboration project.

Would we be able to create a mural that the children could feel they had painted themselves?

The day of the workshop arrived. And when I gave my first demonstration for the children, all my worries disappeared. As I lined up the red, blue, yellow, and other colorful paints in front of them, their eyes lit up and each child began drawing in their own expressive way. Those who had no mobility in their upper body painted using their feet, while blind children used their hands so they could feel the paint as they worked.

Most of the children here have difficulty communicating using words. It was possible though to sense from their slight reactions which color they wanted and as soon as I prepared it, they started drawing. We were able to see right before us the joy of expression that had been dormant within them.
Seeing their liveliness and individuality was a real confirmation of the power of art. Everyone has a desire to express themselves and that’s where the joy of living can be found. I could strongly sense this from the artwork they created.

Each of the children in the Garden of Siloam painted a flower petal. Those petals were then attached one by one to the mural to create one huge flower.

“This work expresses my aim exactly – that each person’s uniqueness is beautiful.”

September 14 2023Over the Wall – A Global Mural Project Artist
Kensuke Miyazaki

壁 画

「The Garden of Siloam」
1,000 x 240 cm
August 10, 2023

「Symbol of the Garden of Siloam」
300 x 400 cm
August 10, 2023

300 x 300 cm
July 19, 2023


Project Period : July 16 – August 10 2023

Jul 17
Flag creation workshop at TAKESHI NIHONGO GAKKOO in Benin.
Jul 18
Mural creation and workshop at the TAKESHI NIHONGO GAKKOO in Benin.
Jul 20
Visit to the Embassy of Japan in Benin, Cotonou.
Jul 22 – Aug 9
Mural creation and workshop at the Garden of Siloam in Kenya.
Aug 10
Unveiling ceremony for the completed mural at the Garden of Siloam.
Aug 19
Return to Japan.


Kensuke Miyazaki
Lee Changhun
Participating staff
Shintaro Ishikawa, Shinya Watase, Yuri Umino, Zim Ishikawa
Graphic design
Web designer
Soichiro Gokan
Takuya Yamada, Taichi Ito, Miki Hayashi, Reiko Kageyama, Yuki Yoshino, Ai Abe, Yujin Lee
Wendy Uchimura
  • Organized by:Over the Wall
  • Hosted by:The Garden of Siloam
  • In Collaboration with TAKESHI NIHONGO GAKKOO
  • Supported by:The Embassy of Japan in Kenya
  • Recognized by:The Embassy of the Republic of Kenya in Japan
  • Sponsors:TAKENAMI KENSETSU Co., Ltd, Sagasiki Co., Ltd, KOMABA, Propeller Co., Ltd., Matsumoto Sangyo, Inc.
  • Project Supporters:Over the Wall Annual Supporters