Art is a natural form of expression for children, one in which they can communicate unspeakable thoughts, feelings, and experiences without words, thereby enabling them to process difficult experiences. At the Vision Hope Family Centers in Jordan, children from refugee families routinely engage in art therapeutic activities to support their self-awareness and emotional resilience. One of these activities was Signs of Hope.
In small groups, children from Syria drew pictures that represented three topics:
1) Hand in the Storm – help in the difficult time of war
2) Safe Place – how they found safety after their experiences in the war
3) Wishes for the Future
For the Hand in the Storm picture, many drew detailed pictures that portray the war experiences that their families faced in Syria. One comforting factor that the children consistently mentioned was their families providing a sense of safety during the time of fear and insecurity. Another frequently mentioned help was the presence of soldiers or police officers, especially the Jordanian soldiers at the border facilitating the entrance to Jordan.
Many children drew their houses in Jordan as their safe places, as their everyday lives now provide them with a much-needed sense of stability. A house, in general, is the most common symbol for a safe place in art therapeutic projects with refugee children.
Expressing their wishes for the future was an easy task, as they all quickly came up with ideas of what they want their futures to hold. Many want to become doctors, engineers, architects, and teachers so that they can help rebuild Syria.
The exhibition will be displayed throughout Jordan at the following sites:
- June 19-29, 2018: Jadal for Knowledge and Culture
- July 1, 2018: Dar Al Anda Art Gallery
- July 2-8, 2018: Fann Wa Chai coffee shop
- July 16-August 2: Queen Rania Community Center
They will also visit sites throughout the MENA region, as well as Europe and North America. If you would like to host an exhibition or otherwise get involved in Signs of Hope, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.