Play time in E2 Transit Camp Athens

Play time in E2 Transit Camp Athens

Clay workshop with talented ladies

Clay workshop with talented ladies

This summer I spent 6 weeks in Lesvos helping out at Bashira Women’s centre for displaced women, facilitating arts and crafts workshops. I had the most wonderful time, I am always humbled by the love that these women show me despite having suffered so much. I made friends and was privileged to hear the stories of many strong and courageous women who have experienced events and journeys that break my heart but also inspire me with hope that humanity can still turn it around. I have always believed in the power of acts of kindness and the magic of art to create togetherness, healing and freedom. I miss you all! I want to thank all my colleagues at Bashira, it is about the small things and the centre is a life saver to so many women, so thank you to all the lovely women who run the place, you smashing beauties!! Also a big thank you to my amazing donors who made my trip possible! Glitter on…

made genuine friends, learnt a lot about

Clay workshop I facilitated at Bashira Women’s centre Lesvos

Clay workshop

Clay workshop

A lovely and super talented lady from Afghanistan fashioned these roses out of clay and painted them

Flower power mural!

Flower power mural!

Heal with love and laughter

An afternoon of fun, felt and sunshine, mixed media collage for one of the walls in Bashira women’s centre Lesvos

 Clay workshop

Clay workshop

Collage time!

Collage time!

Clay workshop

Clay workshop

Painting the finished clay pieces

Fabulous felt!

Fabulous felt!

We loveeee Bashira

We loveeee Bashira

Fisherman's boat

Fisherman's boat

Sisters for Solidarity

Sisters for Solidarity

Beautifully crafted photo frame

Beautifully crafted photo frame

Master baker from Cameroon

Master baker from Cameroon

Farsi poetic ink drawing

Farsi poetic ink drawing

 One of our artists a lovely little girl from Syria with Angela and myself.

One of our artists a lovely little girl from Syria with Angela and myself.

travelling kitchen in refugee camp by the port!

travelling kitchen in refugee camp by the port!

amazing effort by the travelling kitchen suppplying hot meals and aid to those who were forced to set up make shift camp on the gravel by the port, sadly closed by authorities and refugees and aid workers pushed out.

Finished masterpieces

Finished masterpieces

La maison

La maison

Ride to freedom

Ride to freedom

My wonderful co-worker! <3

My wonderful co-worker! <3

lego time! morning play session so parents can get some rest

lego time! morning play session so parents can get some rest

lego time! morning play session so parents can get some rest

 Healing Art Projects with refugees in Lesbos and Athens.  Volunteering Projects contributed to and initiated by the artist and friends with a focus on facilitating and aiding healing, communication, peace and fun through arts, crafts and games. Giving children a chance to play and remember they are children directly affects a family and reminds them that they are human when all their humanity is taken from them by conflict. It is a chance to experience peace of mind, creativity and facilitate freedom of expression by injecting a bit of colour in to everyday life that is otherwise harsh and often bleak, especially when awaiting their fates in the refugee camps of Europe. It is a way to laugh and communicate and can be as simple as giving a child a packet of crayons, any action however small is worth it and it is our duty to spread kindness and help wherever we can.

Healing Art Projects with refugees in Lesbos and Athens.

Volunteering Projects contributed to and initiated by the artist and friends with a focus on facilitating and aiding healing, communication, peace and fun through arts, crafts and games. Giving children a chance to play and remember they are children directly affects a family and reminds them that they are human when all their humanity is taken from them by conflict. It is a chance to experience peace of mind, creativity and facilitate freedom of expression by injecting a bit of colour in to everyday life that is otherwise harsh and often bleak, especially when awaiting their fates in the refugee camps of Europe. It is a way to laugh and communicate and can be as simple as giving a child a packet of crayons, any action however small is worth it and it is our duty to spread kindness and help wherever we can.

Bouncy ball races!

Bouncy ball races!

Farsi class in Piraeus refugee camp in Athens

Farsi class in Piraeus refugee camp in Athens

In our pop up tent (that we had to move constantly around because of the port authorities and was pop up very literally!) we found a lovely Farsi teacher to come and teach the kids every morning and give them a bit of a sense of stability and routine. Shortly after teachers for Arabic and English came forward and we provided something for everyone who was interested, we even had some Kurdish lessons given by some eager teenagers.

Drawing time!

Drawing time!

This is a picture from a pop up drawing station my friend Angela and I did in Lesbos by the port where the travelling kitchen was stationed. As you can see it was very basic with cardboard we had found to sit on and pens and paper and modelling clay but it worked its magic as creativity always does! No action is too small.

afternoon play time :)

afternoon play time :)

who has the crayons?

who has the crayons?

Pop up art gallery on Lesbos!

Pop up art gallery on Lesbos!

One afternoon we spontaneously decided to hang a piece of rope string across the camp and Sellotape all the kids drawings to it to create an art gallery for their families to come and peruse. It was a lovely group effort and remained for days to brighten peoples days and surroundings.  

Caterpillar Man

Caterpillar Man

A very funny afternoon spent playing with the caterpillar tunnel, bought alongside art and play materials using money we raised for the cause, this inexpensive toy provided hours of fun and days of laughter. It is such a joy to hear children laugh and let them be children when the horrors of conflict make them grow old and pained beyond their years. We are all human and we all share the common goal of wanting love and happiness for ourselves, our loved ones and humanity, when people go through the trauma of becoming a refugee their humanity is taken away, their freedom to laugh and enjoy is gone and we can work towards giving small pieces of it back through simple gestures. Every small action counts!!

 

it was cheap as chips to buy and provided hours and days of laughter which is priceless in a refugee camp and we often take for granted! People just want to be happy we are all equal in this goal and we all deserve happiness but humanity is too quick to take the happiness and smiles of others. we are all human!!