Our Art for Life therapy programme is an inclusive and dynamic arts club that supports a range of issues relevant to children and staff as well as families in the wider community. Community music and drama groups continue to form a central component of our peacebuilding work. Through song and dance, we bring together diverse groups who would not normally collaborate and use the medium to identify the similarities between them rather than amplify their differences. This year’s focus has been on peacebuilding activities for civic education and empowering women to have a voice in leadership.
During the Kenyan elections, the art for life club worked with 45 women from 15 marginalised ethnic groups. We worked on building confidence by giving participants opportunities to explore their roles within their families and their communities. We succeeded in empowering 27 women to have their voices heard in leadership circles advocating for their rights and the welfare of their children.
The therapy groups have been especially useful not only for securing peace during the elections but also for building resilience during this time of drought. Using a combination of song and dance we have been able to reduce pressure and tension between communities and facilitate honest debate and discussion about the most troubling issues people are facing. Our therapeutic approach gives people the time and encouragement to come up with their own ideas about how to solve their challenges and encourages collaborative effort during times of crisis.
Creative Arts and Play Therapy
We are pioneering the use of play therapy with pupils to help them overcome trauma and adverse childhood experiences. Using a combination of individual and groups approaches, pupils are able to express themselves safely using play and art. Our clinical therapist is working with the highest need pupils to overcome harmful habits and emotional difficulties. Our teachers are learning how to best support pupils through feelings of anger and traumatic loss.