For six years in a row we have been distributing humanitarian aid and gifts for abandoned and refugee children, organizing birthday parties, free time activities, help with learning, collecting school supplies, and helping renovating the living spaces of the socially disadvantaged families. Our goals are facilitating socialization, learning through play, adoption of knowledge and skills, developing empathy and understanding for diversity.
Our experience so far has lead us to recognize the need to tackle mental health and stress disorders in an organized, yet creative way, so we began to engage in Art Therapy program, which, if implemented, would upgrade our expertise and offer a realization of our goals.
Help us to help
We need your help to start. We recognize the necessity for addressing mental health. When we talk about refugee children’s health problem we are starting to address the reality of problems that are completely unattended. That is why we think it is very important to start this program.
Millions of refugee children were faced with war chaos: killed or disabled, homeless or separated from their caregivers. When asked, refugee children speak of nightmares, the images that continue to haunt them, as well as of crippling grief. We want to help them with that baggage.
’Human devastation syndrome’ is the word a neuropsychologist coined to describe the unique, unprecedented trauma of child survivors. We want to help children to reduce trauma and stress disorders, to receive support for any difficulties in their everyday life or learning activities.
Art Therapy for deprived and refugee children
Art Therapy is crucial, it increases coping skills, resilience and enhances cognitive function, important elements for child development. We offer children the best way to show them that they are allowed to leave the baggage of war behind.
Art making guided by therapists helps mediating the mood, anxiety and depression: neuroscientific research during Art Therapy shows chemical cascades in the brain and body which bring joy.
Creative processes are not only self-rewarding but do help develop real skills and personal efficacy, it naturally supports capability, competency and builds confidence as well as personal empowerment that enhance the sense of internal control.
Why do we need crowdfunding?
We need your help to start it. Everyone at the Little Dragon (Mali Zmaj) center is a volunteer, with no resources to develop our project, and often using our own resources. We want to start crowdfunding to make it possible to start supporting children with Art Therapy professionally guided program, extended to Zürich and Thessaloniki. We need new infrastructure and art materials extended to workshops in Thessaloniki and Zürich, and to cover traveling costs.