Heard of it? If not, then this might help…
This booklet was accessed at The Red Pencil . Before this assessment task, I had never heard of The Red Pencil before. Let me show you just how I got to this point.
Mind Map of my Research Journey Down the Rabbit Hole (created using bubbl.us)
During the week, my research journey (as mentioned in my MindMap-above) led to the extraordinary situation of The Red Pencil’s International Branch International Operations Manager, who is based in the organisation’s Singapore office, arranging a Skype session with me. This was as a result of an email I had sent to The Red Pencil, with some questions and a brief outline of the assessment task I was currently working on. I was able to speak to a dedicated woman named Lama, who was very helpful and generous with her time.
The Red Pencil organisation works hand-in-hand with Humanitarian organisations and NGO’s, and provides resources -both human and materials – in Art Therapy initiatives in many refugee camps, and emergency settings. I asked whether they worked with Teachers Without Borders, and discovered this was an organisation that The Red Pencil had reached out to, but had not heard back from. I was asked many questions about Teachers Without Borders, and their initiatives, and following our discussion, The Red Pencil will look at again reaching out to TWB with the hope of collaborating and providing assistance where possible. Gobsmackingly (word?) I was given the IOM’s mobile number and encouraged to call her again should I have more questions or wish to discuss their organisation further.
The YouTube clip below supports my vision for Art Therapy – in conjunction with their Education – helping children be open to learning again. The initiative in this clip, is called HEART, and is run by Save the Children. The video isn’t of Syrian Refugee children in Iraq, as is the focus for my FLS, but it does capture the essence of the power of creative art expression and its impact on a child’s learning, and their rediscovery of learning.
“Unlock children’s minds so that they can better focus on learning.” (YouTube : Healing and Learning through Art and Music)
Using Art Therapy in this FLS, I hope to provide refugee children with an outlet for expressing the anxieties, the dark thoughts, the disturbing memories of things seen and heard during their short lives – so that they may be able to focus on learning, being curious, developing an inquiring mind, and believing in themselves, and their own talents and capabilities. I would want this FLS to address their holistic needs as a learner : using creative arts expression together with key learning areas, to give children the opportunity to build their knowledge and understanding of critical learning areas, in a way that helps them to heal, build resilience, and re-ignite their learning journeys whilst tapping into their innate creativity.