The other day, I arrived at the gate of the Child and Youth Care Centre for our first art fun activity of 2017. Immediately I was in high spirits when some kids came running to open the gate. I did not realize how much I had missed them during the long December summer holidays. Their hugs and greetings left me quite emotional. Yes, I am emotional, and why not?
Due to circumstances, some faces I had gotten to know last year were missing. And also due to circumstances, there were now new ones. I tried not to allow myself to reflect too much on all the reasons behind this…
The kids and I are in anticipation of the exhibition of their work later this year. I am so proud of them all. We do not have a lot of time together, and no formal instructions are given to them. It is a relaxed and stress-free two hours of playing with paint or clay. One cannot call it art therapy as such but nevertheless, the benefits of these activities are clear.
“It is this idea of self-exploration that can often lead a person to some insightful conclusions about themselves. Don’t be surprised if the effects of art therapy lead to a general sense of relief and overall better mental health. Art therapy can help improve various mental and physical symptoms including, but not limited to, reducing pain, anxiety, and tension. Art therapy can also help people with their social skills. The benefits of art therapy in these types of situations can help people that are withdrawn or shy, or who, for some reason or another, have a difficult time functioning within social situations.” (arttherapyblog.com)
In between, we laugh, talk, and we discuss whatever topic comes up. They are super special kids. Maybe one day I will be able to spend more time with them and explore more options of involvement.
“Whoever welcomes in my name one of these children, welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me, welcomes not only me but also the one who sent me.” Mark 9:37 GNB
Photo Credits: Natalii Rak (girl on wall); Nuxuno Xän (man with leaves for hair); Jaison Cianelli, abstract world map; Giraffes from http://www.backgroundpictures.org