“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.” Sushma Legendre McIntosh, Art therapist
After spending time volunteering several times with refugees who have fled war and violence in their home countries of Syria, Afghanistan, and throughout the Middle East who have ended up stranded in Germany and Greece, it has become clear to me that the displaced people need a creative outlet and some activity in order to cope with life in the camps there. The families I met live in places like improvised tent cities and converted schools. Women and children have little activity. Without having a country to really call home or right to work, they are also in need of a source of funds to help purchase items they need and to get back on their feet.
This project is in direct response to the growing population of refugees living in camps all over Europe. We will work with partners on the ground in Germany, with over 1.1 million, and Greece, with over 56,000 people living without a permanent home or lifestyle. Our campaign aims to start a Non Profit to provide volunteers, supplies and art projects for the children, and sewing or crochet projects for the women. Your donation will go towards these items, as well as the creation of jewelry, t-shirts and purses made from these art projects with proceeds from the sales directly benefiting the refugees.
Photo taken by a Give Thanks volunteer in Filippiada Refugee Camp in Western Greece.