Let the soul speak through pictures: Art therapy for traumatized children
The expulsion of the Syriacs (Chaldeans-Assyrians-Aramaeans) from Mosul and the Nineveh Plain in Iraq on August 6, 2014 had negative effects on the spiritual and psychological situation of people in general, but especially on children.
Children were torn out of everyday life and suffered terribly. They were robbed of their childhood because familiar things such as school, hobbies and friends were taken away. From one day to the other, their lives changed without understanding the processes and circumstances of their environment. The nightmare they experienced did not give the children an idea of what they would expect. The memories of their home, their school, their church and their playground linger in their minds. The hope of the children is to make their beautiful memories, dreams and ambitions of the past come true again. Despite the many losses, they have not given up hope of a return to Mosul and the Nineveh Plain.
The aim of the Beth Nahrain Organisation for Women is to recover the children of internally displaced people and to process their emotions through team work. These refugee children were taken from the refugee camps and cared for in a facility; by means of an Art Therapy all experienced incidents could be processed.
A total of 90 children (30 children every three months) were supported in overcoming their traumas. At the end of each semester an exhibition was held, where the parents could view the pictures of their children. The drawings served the children as a method of expressing their thoughts by putting their past, present and future on paper.
This project was carried out with the support of the Shai Fund (www.theshaifund.org) from March 2016 to June 2017.
Since July 2017 it has been funded by the St. Ismael Foundation from the Netherlands.