Australia

Creative Sparks Round Two

In August and September, 2012, Aware worked in partnership with the New Hope Foundation to deliver Creative Sparks, an art project with children from refugee backgrounds aged 5 – 10 years. This March we will be conducting a 5 week project focusing on participants aged 12-15, with the aim of increasing access to expressive outlets and building self-esteem. We wanted to share with you some comments about our Karen participants written by our friends at New Hope Foundation. 

Project participants are from the Karen community. The Karen people are from the Karen State in Southern Burma, yet some of the participants in the program were born in refugee camps on the Thai Burma border or even in Australia. Karen people have been fleeing Burma since the mid 1980s due to Burmese military oppression and killings of the Karen people. Consequently an estimated one million people from different ethnic groups in Burma have been forced to flee to neighbouring countries, and an estimated 600,000 people have been internally displaced.

The Karen people have predominantly settled in Australia through the Australian Governments humanitarian settlement program. A growing population of the Karen community live in the Western suburbs of Melbourne. The New Hope Foundation provides settlement support to newly arrived refugees and migrants during their first five years in Australia.

The Karen people are warm and humble. They are proactive and open and a joy to work with.

busy setting up                                                                           Creative Sparks Round One: 2012

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Categories: Australia, Projects, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Ever wondered how to get involved with Aware?

Aware is currently recruiting for two exciting Melbourne based volunteer roles for our Creative Sparks project beginning in March.
Project Summary
Creative Sparks works with children and youth from refugee backgrounds recently settled in Melbourne. The aim of the project is to provide participants with a creative avenue to express themselves and build self-confidence in a safe space. In conjunction with New Hope Foundation, Creative Sparks runs artistic workshops with participants in the Werribee area.
Click for the position descriptions for the Co-facilitator / Monitoring and Evaluation Officer AND Co-facilitator / Communication and Marketing Officer, two positions that are integral to the success of the project. 
Applications close Feb 18th 5pm (expected start date Feb 25th)
Please send CV and cover letter to stacey.aware@gmail.com
Looking forward to a great start to Creative Sparks for 2013!
Categories: About AWARE, Australia, Projects | Leave a comment

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

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