We stepped foot into the abandoned hospital in Athens, Greece, and found Syrian refugee youth running around with photocopies of their hands and faces in distorted positions. They were having so much fun with the Spanish volunteers and the Xerox machine. Around Greece, hotels and vacant buildings have been converted into temporary refugee housing. During the introductory meeting with the director we learned that almost all of the hundred and sixty Syrians residing in this old hospital were mothers and children,
There are many paths to arrive at the same destination. Although our team is accustomed to roughing it and sleeping just about anywhere along the journey of life, one week ago we climbed aboard a large ferry and were escorted to a cabin with beds and hot showers. A unique experience for us all, and a perfect opportunity to rest up on the overnight cruz to the island of Lesbos, Greece, before a huge amount of work. The refugees, on the other hand,
The warden opened the gates of the prison and we entered, using colors as our currency. We shared a powerful day painting with bank robbers, smugglers and drug dealers, behind the bars, inside the prison, in the mountains of Northern Greece. At the end of the day we returned toHabibi.Works Creative Center to find that 30 stranded Iraqi refugees sat in the downstairs of Habibi.Works. Our temporary home, thanks to our hospitable German hosts,
Welcome To My House – Music/Art Video: Luc & the Lovingtons + Voices of the Children
Time and time again the real art happens in the now! In Za’atari Refugee Camp we were reminded that every moment there is a new choice, and in that choice, and if we listen, the brilliance of each moment burns bright. Nothing was guaranteed on our journey into the Middle East to film the first leg of the “Welcome to my House”
The Syrian Refugee Creative Therapy Project
Chapter 7, Part 2 Conclusion:
… Benjamin Swatez and Aaron Wagner each had a dream and were throwing in all their chips to live these dreams while both living in the Skagit Valley of northwestern Washington, only a 20 minute drive apart, without ever crossing paths. Benjamin, the art director/mentor of Chime In and director of Colors of Love: Healing Through Art, came across an international photographer in Goma, DR Congo,
Chapter 7 – Part 1: Conclusion of the Syrian Refugee Art Therapy Project in Jordan!
The only thing better than “I have a dream” is “We have a dream”! As a team, how big can we dream? Well… The results within a time-span of five weeks in Jordan are mind blowing! Hundreds of Syrian Refugee and Jordanian youth engaged in multiple forms of creative healing and expression, 7 original songs were written and sung, a couple thousand drawings and paintings were created,
Chapter 6: Internal Reflections From Za’atari Refugee Camp
As the Save the Children vehicle pulled up to the gate of Za’atari, the time had come to present our permission letter and step foot, brush, camera and microphone onto the grounds of the heavily restricted area where thousands of white tents serve as temporary housing structures. At one time the population reached above 130,000, with a current official count by UNHCR of 92,000 Syrian refugees, and unofficially, 115,000 people.
Syrian Refugee Creative Therapy Project
Chapter 5: The Lens of Life
Photography, music and art join forces to liberate the worn torn psyches from the labyrinth of trauma in a powerhouse week of raw and pure expression. Two Syrian Refugee Centers, supported by NGO Save the Children, invited the Voices of the Children’s creatively explosive team to share the passion of their specialized professions with the youth of the Syrian atrocities. This dream of a project,
Syrian Refugee Art Therapy Project – Chapter 4:
From the sunshine over the Red Sea, we drove towards a forecast of below freezing temperatures… But the warmth in our hearts followed the river currents of inspiration to Amman, the capital of Jordan. With variables shifting by the hour, we knew not what it would look like upon arrival; however, we transitioned to the north in full faith that something magnificent would transpire none the less… And that it did,
Chapter 3: Mirrored Reflections of the Deep Blue
“Look behind us! Look, look, look… ” Lea Anne repeated as the last view of Aqaba dissipates into the distance. Our car set sail for Amman, up through the desert road, passing Wadi Rum and Petra, with a colorful skin disease covering our hands and our pants looking more like a color pallet than denim. We leave behind 4 murals, hundreds of smiles and thousands of blue that ripple through the Red Sea.