Monthly Archives: August 2012

Join Aware’s 2012 Melbourne Marathon Team!

Run with us! 

On October 14 a group of wonderful Aware supporters will be taking part in one of Melbourne’s biggest fundraising activities. With runs ranging from 3-40km there is an option for anybody wanting to fundraise for Aware AND get fit and healthy at the same time! All funds raised will go into our work here in Australia, including current and future projects with children from refugee backgrounds.

All you need to do is sign up to the run that you want to take on, then click on the ‘start fundraising’ link on the Melbourne Marathon website, choose Aware as your charity  and ask friends, family and colleagues to sponsor you.

http://www.melbournemarathon.com.au/

http://www.gofundraise.com.au/beneficiary/Aware

Our first runner signed up is Aware’s Director Stacey.

‘I was interested in taking up this challenge as I am not an athletic person and have never attempted a run before, and though it was a good time to give it a go. It is a tough ask but I can’t wait to get out there on the day, reach my goal and raise funds for Aware. Having a team of volunteers and supports run with me will be a great feeling, as we could not do the work that we do without them.’ -Stace

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Creative Sparks

 

Last week we began our first ever Australian project and we are so excited.  Aware will, in conjunction with New Hope Foundation, be facilitating art workshops with children from refugee backgrounds in Melbourne’s outer west. The aim is to increase self-confidence through storytelling and building awareness about social issues facing recently arrived communities in Melbourne.

We are lucky to have studying art therapist Kristy Heffernan on board to run the workshops, with the help of Aware’s Director Stacey and volunteer Louella. Employing the theories of art therapy in a safe, fun and relaxed space is set to be an amazing experience!

 

Let’s meet Kristy!

What you are studying?

I am currently studying Transpersonal Art Therapy at Phoenix Institute. Art therapy is a therapeutic process in which people can engage with themselves, their lives, and their experiences without the need for constant dialogue like mainstream psychotherapy. Although talking can be a large part of art therapy, the creative process is in itself, the critical part of the healing experience for the participant. By expressing through creativity a person can access and express ‘unspoken’ ideas, memories and feelings in a gentle and safe way, with an experienced therapist present.

Why you wanted to volunteer with Aware?

When I was contacted by Aware I jumped at the opportunity to work with them. As an art therapist I was really drawn to the humanist, compassionate approach of aware within their projects. I also realized the great potential of using art with children from refugee backgrounds, as it allows for interaction and expression that transcends language barriers.

A little bit about the project?

I want to allow a space for the kids to feel free to express themselves and play. We will be using numerous mediums to explore their own experiences as a child in their community. We will concentrate on identity, creating opportunities for the children to tell their stories through their art. The children will be encouraged to show their interests, dreams and personalities through paint, pencil, pastel, collage, stickers and clay.   

What you expect the outcomes to be for the participants?

Fun! I want the children to have a lot of fun whilst getting the opportunity to explore a number of different mediums in art. I also hope to nurture feelings of pride and confidence in their own creativity and for them to feel safe in being themselves.

Categories: Australia, Stories from Volunteers | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Sapphires – an AWARE fundraiser

On Sunday night, more than 70 people gathered to watch The Sapphires at Westgarth Cinemas in Melbourne.

The Sapphires is based on a true story about a four aborginal women who form a soul group and go to Vietnam to sing for the American troops.

You can check out the trailer here:

Nearly a thousand dollars was raised to help support our new program in Melbourne (stay tuned to find out more!) and our continued work in Kenya and Cambodia.

Thank you so much for coming and enjoying this great film with us!

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Will we see you Sunday?

 

On Sunday August 12th, join us at AWARE’s next movie night! We’re screening The Sapphires at the Westgarth cinema.  Tickets are $25. Please preorder them here to make sure that you get a seat! The film starts at 6:30 – but if you come early you can peruse some great merchandise from Dorsu before the film.
Hope to see you Sunday!

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A Crafternoon in Cambodia

During my time in Cambodia running Wool for Women, I took some time out to get to know an amazing social enterprise in Batambang – Kinyei. Promoting sustainable travel they run socially responsible bike tours, have a café which serves the best coffee in town, and provide jobs and training to young people. They also have a space dedicated to exhibiting local art. With our mutual interest in working with young people and creativity, I couldn’t help but get involved.

Aware sponsored an afternoon of art and craft within the art space above Kinyei café. We spent hours drawing, cutting, pasting, stitching, creating and having fun. We made broaches, embroidered signs, made paper decorations, sketched and more. It was a lovely way to bring the community together in a safe and fun space. The craft materials that I left with the group have been used in a second workshop, organised by Kinyei staff, creating decorations to liven up the café.

The community of Kinyei – and in particular the young people – relish the chance to get creative and express themselves. In the future, Aware will assist Kinyei in running regular arts workshops, with the aim of building self-confidence in the youth of Batambang.

Check out Kinyei’s projects,

 

Written by volunteer, Stacey

Categories: Cambodia, Projects, Stories from Volunteers | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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