Hyo Shin Missions | Advocacy
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RELEASE RELIEF

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Advocate
For years, countries in the Middle East have been sheltering the largest number of Syrians and Iraqis. For example, we use art as a strong tool for advocacy.  The artists of our team are doing creative initiatives in collaboration with the refugees and asylum seekers such as public art projects, music concerts, and film productions.

Millions of people across the world don’t have control over important choices that affect their lives, such as where they live, how they live, and how they are governed. Women and girls, in particular, struggle to advocate for their rights and make their voices heard. These issues are worsened by crises, which often uproot families, tear apart communities, and weaken government systems. The Syrian Civil War has killed over 450,000 and forced more than 10 million people to flee their homes in search of safe, stable living conditions, which has resulted in one of the largest humanitarian crises of our time. Housing the largest population of displaced families in the Middle East, the Zataari Refugee Camp ishome to nearly 80,000 Syrians, and is considered the fourth-largest city in Jordan.

What’s like living in one of the Syrian refugee camps? It can be very boring. Yet art can bring color and therapy to the lives of refugee children.

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Sushma Legendre McIntosh , a French art therapist, says activities like the mural project have both short-term and long-term therapeutic benefits for children living in refugee camps.

“In the short-term, drawing and painting makes children feel good and whole, responsible and empowered. It removes them from the refugee camp environment and focuses them on the present moment. The goal is to take them out of their misery and give them a chance to be a child again, to have fun, to make them laugh – and in that moment they’re no longer a refugee in a camp, they’re a child doing art.”

For children forced to start life over at such a young and formative age within a restrictive environment, art projects provide a creative outlet to express themselves and help discover who they really are.

 

“They are so young to be restarting their lives, and it’s important for them to be aware of who they are without a limiting status. They are not just a refugee, they are a unique individual. And art helps foster their sense of self-identity,” McIntosh explains.

In the long-term, McIntosh notes, all camp residents — not just children — will benefit from the visual impact of the murals, which carry happy memories of the residents, and messages of hope.

(source: http://rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/220420143)