Our clients are pretty amazing, so it’s unsurprisingly that they get up to some pretty amazing things. This month we wanted to share the work of our client, Helen.
In a few months’ time, Helen will be travelling to Nepal for some weeks with a non-for-profit, creative arts therapy organisation that is dedicated to assisting and empowering women and children who have been victims of sex trafficking, exploitation, and trauma.
Art2Healing provides psychological support, education, and growth through creative arts therapies, and awareness-based practices, such as yoga and meditation.
Helen will be putting her work as a child psychologist to use on her trip, working with Art2Healing in conjunction with other local agencies to help women and children who have experienced trauma process their ordeal through trauma-informed art therapy, yoga, and mindfulness.
Leading Advice wants to offer its full support to Helen on her trip, so we’d like to give you an opportunity to get to know what she’ll be up to, and potentially support her in this important endeavour too.
Q: What inspired you to begin work with Art2Healing?
A: The fact that slavery continues to exist in 2017 is just so incredibly sad and unforgivable. In fact, it is the second most profitable illegal industry globally, second only to the drug industry, and even more profitable than weaponry. I believe that these children and women deserve all the support and opportunities possible and it forms part of my hope that one day all forms of slavery can be abolished.
Because I have professional experience as a child psychologist working with those who have experienced trauma, I thought there might be some way to use this knowledge to help on a practical level. After speaking with the founder of Art To Healing, Atira Tan, I felt so inspired by her values and ways of working, not to mention the number of years she has been committed to this work. I thought that we had highly aligned values, and could work well together in addressing this horrible situation.
Q: What will you be doing while in Nepal?
A: The exact details of the day-to-day work we’ll be completing are likely to change, depending on the need at any given moment. We will be spending some of our time working with children, and other time with adult women, using different forms of art therapy, yoga, women’s wellness programs, and meditation to explore and deal with their traumatic experiences. We will also be working closely with several local agencies, providing them with training to further their ongoing work with these victims.
Art to Healing will be delivering a 10 day therapeutic and leadership program called the Women’s Transformational Program. We will be providing therapeutic support with women who have experienced sex slavery, exploitation and abuse, as well as provide capacity building and professional development leadership skills, to assist them to teach and provide therapeutic services to other women and girls in anti-trafficking shelters, slums, and their remote communities.
Q: Will you be doing much to prepare for the trip?
A: Because there is no government funding for this trip, one key aspect of our preparation will involve fundraising. Raised funds will pay for training and art materials, translators, and food and accommodation for the women and children.
In some ways I have no idea what to expect. Atira has designed a wonderful process of including new volunteers, so I will be fully guided by her. There will also be some mental preparation, as the work may be emotionally difficult, ( how could it not be). Hearing the stories of what some of these women and children have been through can be quite confronting for many volunteers.
Q: How can we help?
A: We would be very grateful for any financial support for the trip, with donations possible from the Art To Healing website: www.theart2healingproject.org/donateNow.htm
There are also some beautiful cards selling for $10 at the office of Leading Advice. You may like to purchase these. They could be a lovely gift as a pack, or used individually as gift cards