Many people in the world today are seeking ways to help refugee children cope with the unbelievable challenges they are currently facing. As a result of this human desire to nurture and bring relief, quite a few organizations exist for the purpose of benefitting refugee children. Some organizations supply food to needy families, others provide medical care or shelter, and others simply raise awareness of these individuals’ needs. A program started by a woman named Alexandra Dawley helps displaced Iraqi children who are living in Jordan by giving them simple opportunities to create art.
How Creating Art Helps Refugee Children
Creating art helps refugee children. That is, when a child makes a piece of art, he or she derives benefit from that action. Alexandra Dawley, a former volunteer with the Collateral Repair Project in Jordan, thinks that “something as simple as an art project can help young refugees adjust to their new lives in a foreign country,” as stated in the article Creating works of art helps refugee children repair their lives. Dawley would know; after all, she personally sought out support from Rotary and began her own art program. The program benefits displaced children by allowing them to process their emotions and create a vision for the future via art creation.
Art Heals Emotions and Provides an Outlet for Play
In the above article, Dawley said that, although she is not a certified art therapist, art’s healing effects on the human mind are obvious to her. She also recognizes art’s ability to help kids build life skills and just have fun. Refugee children need healing, life skills, and, especially, fun. Her program is perfectly suited to their needs.
Art Program Benefits Refugee Children AND Teenaged Mentors
Alexandra Dawley may not have an art therapy degree, but she does have a master’s degree in social development and spent several months volunteering in Jordan. This passionate individual has seen firsthand how her art program has benefited refugee children. She’s noticed how the program has allowed “kids to be kids.” The teenaged volunteers who help her run the program in Jordan have been benefitted, too. She mentioned that the teens wanted to see changes in their community and were flourishing in their mentor-mentee relationships. She said, “Due to the generous Rotarian donations, I was able to leave a wealth of supplies for the teens to use as they continue running the art program. The mural on the side of the center was a source of stress relief and a source of pride for the teens who designed it and the children who volunteered with us as we painted it.”
It’s been proven that art is healing. People like Alexandra Dawley are ensuring that art supplies get put into the hands of refugee children who desperately need the healing and hope that creating art brings.
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