Friday, 30 May 2008

Theatre and Arts Workshops with Healing Hearts

Alongside their regular lessons, our second group of young people has been doing some theatre and arts workshops with a group called, Healing Hearts.

The Healing Hearts group worked for years with victims of the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, visiting schools, kindergartens, orphanages, hospitals and homes for displaced people, promoting reintegration and reconciliation between different ethnic groups and helping minority groups to overcome their sense of isolation. They have recently moved their mission to Peru, and kindly agreed to run some workshops with our young people.

Yesterday afternoon the young people learnt how to be clowns, dressing up in an array of costumes and acting out short skits. It was excellent for strengthening friendships between group members, raising their levels of self-confidence and esteem, and simply for having a bit of well-earned fun. But more than that, it was a type of therapy for our young people. When you put your clown costume on, you cease to be “you”; for a moment you can do what you like, act the fool, the wise-guy or the joker and no one knows it’s you behind your costume. You’re suddenly liberated from all the prejudices, criticisms and stigmas of today’s society.

For young people who have grown up in a world of violence, abuse, criticism and rejection it’s very important to be able to “act the clown” and escape from reality sometimes.

Thank you to Healing Hearts for the time and effort they dedicate to our young people.

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