SYRIAN REFUGEE ART THERAPY PROJECT – JORDAN

This video says it all! ~ We accomplished so much more than we ever imagined!!! We painted over 4,300 sq. feet of murals all across the country with hundreds of Jordanian, Palestinian and Syrian Youth. Over 40,000 photographs were taken by the youth, dozens of short films were created and 7 originals songs were written and sung! Check out the videos!!!

This mural is 26 x 7 meters on the main headquarter of NGO Save the Children in Amman Jordan. Over 75 Syrian Refugees and volunteers helped me paint this mural.

11

Many children across the globe have had their innocence stolen from them. All children have the right to a childhood.

12
 With the tremendous incline of refugees worldwide Post Trauma Therapy is in a larger demand than ever before. The war remains within the human psyche until appropriate attention is given to the horrors and atrocities stored within the mind and body. Often times children who have been exposed to severe psychological stress, struggle to verbalize their traumas, and yet, one artistic composition can speak a thousand words.
24
Art therapy is an essential social service support, especially in environments facing extreme adversity, that provides a safe, trusting environment for the development of healthy communication skills, serving as a positive outlet to release the effects of Post Trauma Stress Disorder (PTSD). It has proven to be a highly effective healing tool, fusing psychological exorcises with colors, shapes, movement and musical notes to calm mental turmoil and spread peace within, inevitably effecting the surrounding environment. In metaphorical terms, art therapy is a form of alchemy: transforming anxiety, depression, fear, and anger into positive expression, heightened self-esteem and a sense of self empowerment.
23
Za’atari, the second largest Refugee Camp in the world, is currently providing homes for 80,000 Syrian Refugees officially and unofficially an estimated 115,000 refugees. It is in great need of a positive creative outlet. The Syrian Refugee Art Therapy Project, partnered with “The Change is Me International: Chime In Youth Ambassador Program”, and Lea Anne Omar Almetwaly, the Chime In Youth Ambassador of Jordan, intend to work directly with the Syrian Refugees in Jordan for a period of 18 days: January 2nd – 19th, 2016. We are also partnered with the NGO Voices of the Children and Save the Children. Voices of the Children have been teaching the Syrian Refugee Youth at Za’atari how to film their own short documentaries. Together we will create a sustainable community center for creativity, directed and utilized by the youth of Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan.

Weekly updates on the scene in Jordan! Check them out – Filmed and edited by Glen Shackley

Objective: Working hand in hand with NGO Voices of the Children – www.votchildren.org, Save the Children – www.savethechildren.org, Chime in:The Change is Me International and the Jordanian, Palestinian and Syrian Refugee Youth to lay the foundation of a sustainable model for creative healing in the Za’atari Refugee Camp and Amman, Jordan for years to come. – Not only was this project incredibly successful working with the youth, but also Benjamin Swatez held art therapy seminars/ workshops with the Save the Children field staff to carry on the work in Refugee Centers throughout the capital as well. What a team effort!!! OUR TEAM: Michael Christoffer Brown, Tasneem Asultan, Glen Shackley, Luc Reynaud, Lea Anne Almetwaly, Aaron Wagner and Benjamin Swatez…. Thank you everyone; and thank you to the courageous youth who choose to no longer be defined  as victims, but now choose to paint, dance, sing and photograph their freedom!

Three 12 x 5 feet canvas murals were painted by both youth fromMount Vernon, Washington and Syrian Refugee youth from Za’atari Refugee Camp. They served as an intercultural dialogue, crossing oceans, cultures, religions and politics. These canvas demonstrated the beauty of the next generation and if they canshare peace, love, respect and happiness… the entire world can!

This Project is just the beginning!!! We have since returned to film the “Welcome to My House” Music/Art Video with Luc and the Lovingtons, Voices of the Children, the amazing youth from the Za’atari Refugee Camp and the youth from the Pacific Northwest. This video serves as an amazing cross-cultural dialogue expressing that everyone in the world should feel welcome to a home! The song is sung in both Arabic and English. Murals were painted in both locations as well! All forms of creativity are a platform for human being to feel to human!

Benjamin Swatez – Founder of Colors of Love/ Project Director – Voices of the Children

e-mail: bswatez@gmail.com

Telephone: 001-213-332-3869

Video Credit: Glen Shackley

 Voices of the Children – Aaron Wagner

aaron@votchildren.org

“WELCOME TO MY HO– USE” by Luc and the Lovingtons – This video is a journey into the heart of humanity – a multi sensory platform for intercultural dialogue between the youth of the Pacific Northwest and the youth of the Za’atari Syrian refugee camp! Creativity is the bridge between worlds and everyone deserves to have a home! Let’s share the voice of the youth, the voice of the open hearts, and the Colors of Love worldwide together!!! Freedom in a Unified Voice!

Producer Aaron Wagner – Executive producer Jason Mraz – Director/ editor Moe Najati – cinementographer Thomas Simon – singer/songwriter Luc Reynaud – musical producer/ musician Loren Boley – art director/ muralist Benjamin Swatez -documentary film maker – Glen Shackley

12
Many children across the globe have had their innocence stolen from them. All children have the right to a childhood. With the tremendous incline of refugees worldwide Post Trauma Therapy is in a larger demand than ever before. The war remains within the human psyche until appropriate attention is given to the horrors and atrocities stored within the mind and body. Often times children who have been exposed to severe psychological stress, struggle to verbalize their traumas, and yet, one artistic composition can speak a thousand words.
24
Art therapy is an essential social service support, especially in environments facing extreme adversity, that provides a safe, trusting environment for the development of healthy communication skills, serving as a positive outlet to release the effects of Post Trauma Stress Disorder (PTSD). It has proven to be a highly effective healing tool, fusing psychological exorcises with colors, shapes, movement and musical notes to calm mental turmoil and spread peace within, inevitably effecting the surrounding environment. In metaphorical terms, art therapy is a form of alchemy: transforming anxiety, depression, fear, and anger into positive expression, heightened self-esteem and a sense of self empowerment.
23
Za’atari, the second largest Refugee Camp in the world, is currently providing homes for 80,000 Syrian Refugees officially and unofficially an estimated 115,000 refugees. It is in great need of a positive creative outlet. The Syrian Refugee Art Therapy Project, partnered with “The Change is Me International: Chime In Youth Ambassador Program”, and Lea Anne Omar Almetwaly, the Chime In Youth Ambassador of Jordan, intend to work directly with the Syrian Refugees in Jordan for a period of 18 days: January 2nd – 19th, 2016. We are also partnered with the NGO Voices of the Children and Save the Children. Voices of the Children have been teaching the Syrian Refugee Youth at Za’atari how to film their own short documentaries. Together we will create a sustainable community center for creativity, directed and utilized by the youth of Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan.

Objective: Working hand in hand with NGO Voices of the Children – www.votchildren.org, Save the Children – www.savethechildren.org, Chime in:The Change is Me International and the Jordanian, Palestinian and Syrian Refugee Youth to lay the foundation of a sustainable model for creative healing in the Za’atari Refugee Camp and Amman, Jordan for years to come. – Not only was this project incredibly successful working with the youth, but also Benjamin Swatez held art therapy seminars/ workshops with the Save the Children field staff to carry on the work in Refugee Centers throughout the capital as well. What a team effort!!! OUR TEAM: Michael Christoffer Brown, Tasneem Asultan, Glen Shackley, Luc Reynaud, Lea Anne Almetwaly, Aaron Wagner and Benjamin Swatez…. Thank you everyone; and thank you to the courageous youth who choose to no longer be defined  as victims, but now choose to paint, dance, sing and photograph their freedom!

Three 12 x 5 feet canvas murals were painted by both youth fromMount Vernon, Washington and Syrian Refugee youth from Za’atari Refugee Camp. They served as an intercultural dialogue, crossing oceans, cultures, religions and politics. These canvas demonstrated the beauty of the next generation and if they canshare peace, love, respect and happiness… the entire world can!

This Project is just the beginning!!! We have since returned to film the “Welcome to My House” Music/Art Video with Luc and the Lovingtons, Voices of the Children, the amazing youth from the Za’atari Refugee Camp and the youth from the Pacific Northwest. This video serves as an amazing cross-cultural dialogue expressing that everyone in the world should feel welcome to a home! The song is sung in both Arabic and English. Murals were painted in both locations as well! All forms of creativity are a platform for human being to feel to human!

Benjamin Swatez – Founder of Colors of Love/ Project Director – Voices of the Children

e-mail: bswatez@gmail.com

Telephone: 001-213-332-3869

Video Credit: Glen Shackley

 Voices of the Children – Aaron Wagner

aaron@votchildren.org

“WELCOME TO MY HO– USE” by Luc and the Lovingtons – This video is a journey into the heart of humanity – a multi sensory platform for intercultural dialogue between the youth of the Pacific Northwest and the youth of the Za’atari Syrian refugee camp! Creativity is the bridge between worlds and everyone deserves to have a home! Let’s share the voice of the youth, the voice of the open hearts, and the Colors of Love worldwide together!!! Freedom in a Unified Voice!

Producer Aaron Wagner – Executive producer Jason Mraz – Director/ editor Moe Najati – cinementographer Thomas Simon – singer/songwriter Luc Reynaud – musical producer/ musician Loren Boley – art director/ muralist Benjamin Swatez -documentary film maker – Glen Shackley