Art that heals

Painting with women and children from Ukraine

 

In summer this year I was spending some time at YWAM Nürnberg to attend a Prayer & Worship Training by 111Global KC. At the base lived several Ukranian refugees, most of them children and women. With two other artist friends we offered creative afternoons outside the base, where everyone could try out a bunch of art supplies which were sponsored to YWAM. Some children painted flowers, animals or hearts with the Ukranian flag colours. Bethany, a wonderful artist from the 111Global Team painted a portrait of one of the Ukranian moms, who was very touched by it.

 

Since the war started around 967.546 Ukranian refugees arrived in Germany (Current status 21st August 2022, https://www.bmi.bund.de). 36% of these Ukranians are children and youth.

 

There was one moment that moved me very much. I asked the children if they want a painting of their favourite animal. (None of them spoke english or german so we mostly tried to communicate through Google Translate on my phone.) One girl kept saying "grey cat" in Ukranian and showed me a photo on her moms phone of a cute grey kitten. It turned out that it was her grey kitten that she had to leave behind in Charkiw.

 

Art may not solve the problem of war, but it can definitely be a tool to process trauma, pain, fear and sadness. It can bring some kind of hope and joy in times of uncertainty. To see the childrens joy while painting and creating has deeply touched me and opened my eyes to what a powerful tool creativity can be.

 

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."

Matthew 5, 4-5