From 11 to 13 July, in four cities of Donetsk region, artists of Labyrinth Gallery (Lublin, Poland) conducted workshops for children from Slovyansk, Svyatogorsk, Konstantynivka, and Kramatorsk and, in particular – for young people from internally displaced families. Polish Institute in Kyiv in collaboration with Caritas Ukraine were organizing this educational program.
The idea of the workshops “ME – WE – OUR PLACE” by polish artists Agatha Sztorc and Waldemar Tatarchuk is to awaken creativity of children, develop an individual approach as well as team spirit, and change their views on everyday things and cities where they live. The program was prepared as an opportunity to attract children of all ages, based upon their creativity only, regardless of artistic skills. About 60 children took part in workshops.
Workshops were held for children from IDPs families in Child Friendly Space Project Centers of Caritas Kramatorsk in Slovyansk and Svyatogorsk; for preschool children in educational complex № 91 named “Forest Tale” in Kramatorsk; for children and youth in the City Library of Konstantynivka. The artists prepared their exercises in a form of performances, discussions, and urban experiments. Each event was the most interactive and gave children space for being truly themselves, forgetting about the “right or wrong” format but giving opportunity to express their views openly or show it in their creative works.
In the eastern cities of Ukraine, close to the zone of military conflict, workshops have a social focus: to help children find a foothold, to give them ability to express their emotions, identify themselves without fear and form their own views of things. According to Vira Pavlova, coordinator of children’s centers “Child Friendly Space” of Caritas Ukraine, art therapy is one of the most effective methods of psychological work with children from IDPs families and children who witnessed military action. Creative classes help children to switch themselves and feel safe, get rid of fears and learn to think positively.