Children's Art Village
Connecting Children to Their Creative Spirits

Founder's Message

Mai Lai Breech, Founder & Executive Director, leads the Children’s Art Village (“CAV”) as its Executive Director. She founded the CAV in 2006. When the Children’s Art Village began, Mai moved to Ghana to teach the first term of the Creative Arts Curriculum at the Village of Hope Orphanage School (Hope Christian Academy). The program has been thriving ever since with Ghanaian artist teachers as full-time faculty members continuing the Creative Arts Curriculum.

Aside from leading CAV, Mai has worked in the financial world for the last 16 years. Previously she worked as an investment banker for Merrill Lynch and SG Cowen in Chicago, San Francisco and New York City. Currently, Mai is the Director of Finance for First Beverage Realty Partners, a real estate investment group based in Los Angeles. In this capacity Mai has worked on development projects that include: a 40-story residential condominium tower in downtown Los Angeles, a 150-room, five-star hotel resort in Malibu, a 750,000 square feet retail power center in Palm Springs and a 543,000 square feet industrial warehouse in Indianapolis, IN.

Mai is an amateur painter and an advocate of the arts. She also has a passion for working with children and for children’s causes. Additionally, Mai is a speaker with the Reinvent Yourself Workshop series – sharing powerful insights and tools to help people shift their lives to the next exciting level.

Mai holds a B.A from Wellesley College, an MBA from the University of Southern California and an M.A in Psychology from the University of Santa Monica.

Project Countries


In 2007, the Children’s Art Village began its first art & music program at the Village of Hope orphanage in Ghana, Africa. The orphanage is located 26 miles southwest of the capital, Accra. Ever since that first program launched in the summer of August 2007, CAV has supported an on-going art program at orphanage school – Hope Christian Academy, affiliated directly with the Village of Hope Orphanage. During the school year there is a full-time teacher dedicated in teaching the Creative Arts Curriculum at the Hope Christian Academy. Each summer there is a special week-long art & music program whereby American artist teachers travel to the Village of Hope and are joined by local Ghanaian art teachers to work exclusively with the orphans at the Village of Hope.


Beginning May 2010, the Children’s Art Village (“CAV”),in partnership with the Aadhi Arts Academy, began a sustainable art & music program at the Sevalaya Orphanage located in a small village 20 miles outside of Chennai, India. Chennai, is located in the southeast coast of India on the Bay of Bengal. Sevalaya in Sanskrit means Temple of Service. The Sevalaya is home to 200 orphans and is active in servicing its community of impoverished and deprived. The Sevalaya administers a school serving over 1,500 children – 200 of the Sevalaya orphans and 1,300 day students from the surrounding area. It is an honor for the Children’s Art Village to be able to partner with the Sevalaya Orphanage and band in a common belief of serving abandoned children.

It is our hope at CAV to give these children at the Sevalaya orphanage an opportunity to express themselves and transcend above their impoverished condition.

The Sevalaya Orphanage is a truly special place. The Sevalaya administration operates as a “We” consciousness and it is evident in everything that they do and how this positively affects the orphans that they care for. The Sevalaya believes that good citizens are essential for the welfare of the Nation. It is the duty of the parents to bring up their children to become such good citizens. For orphans, it becomes the duty of the society to take charge of them, give them shelter, love and affection, self-confidence and life-coping education. Without this support there is a risk that they will fall a prey to antisocial elements, and themselves become antisocial.


In November 2011, the Children’s Art Village (“CAV”) began partnering with the Unatti Foundation to offer ongoing art programs at the Unatti Orphanage, located in the eastern part of Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. The art programs provide year-long art classes to not only the orphans at the Unatti but also to the street children, specifically in the Bhaktapur area where the Unatii Orphanage is located. The children meet regularly to work on art projects and are taught by a local Nepalese art teacher.

The Unatti Orphanage is home to 18 girls and has been in existence since 1998. The Founder, Stephanie Waisler, lives in Los Angeles, CA. The Unatti is run effectively by Ramesh Pradhananga, a native Nepalese who holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in business from Nepal. The Unatti has an art & music center in which all the classes are held regularly for the children.

The Unatti programs work as preventative measures, addressing the root of the harmful perpetuating cycle of sexism, poverty, and child trafficking. By empowering girls and women through education, arts, music and community programs the Unatti Foundation seeks to create long-term changes for women to prepare them with tools for a brighter more productive future.