The Ragamuffin Project

The Ragamuffin Project is committed to the relief of emotional pain and psychological damage in children, adults and communities through Creative Arts Therapy. We work together with those who bring such relief to people who suffer around the world.
Nov 18, 2013

Creating and Sharing Light

Ragamuffin Cambodia Projects Update

Ragamuffin International is supporting individuals and teams who work in a diverse cross-section of issues and needs in Cambodia from child protection, violence, abuse, trafficking and human rights issues. Continuing to capacity build, supervise and develop staff care and well-being in frontline organisations, teams and individuals. Ragamuffin International also supervises and overseas a number of projects including:

Be-Yourself Project is a Cambodian led service currently working with children and adolencents who have survived acid attacks, are caught up in domestic violence, abuse and land evictions. Here is a summary of our work with Acid Attack survivors:

‘I See You’ Creative Arts Therapy for Acid Attack Survivors, Staff Capacity Building and Therapeutic Support.

 

The areas of Psychological treatment, staff capacity and care have been identified as critical areas where there are gaps in services and capacity for survivors of acid attacks in Cambodia. Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity (CASC) and Ragamuffin have been exploring a project that will provide a therapeutic programme to aid the recovery of acid burn survivors and their families.

Acid attacks are a pre-meditated form of violence that leaves survivors physically, socially and emotionally and psychologically scarred. Through a process of group and individual creative arts therapy the impact on the children has been powerful as said in their own words below:

“I feel so happy to be here as it is my first time in life to feel loved and belong to the group. So far, I do not have friends to play with me as they said ‘my face is like a monster’ and this group makes me feel that I am a child who deserves to play and to be friends with other children” (Quote from one of the children in the group)

“Though I am just a thirteen year old child who found myself helpless to change problem in my family, I believe if I could be strong, my parents might begin to be strong too. ” (Quote from one of the children in the group)

 The group found this journey full of profound learning and sharing experiences. They felt they could get support and discover strength from other children in the group. They began to see positive changes and reported a decrease of their feelings of distress and disturbance and began to report how they were better able to manage everyday life.

“Before I came to this workshop, I got a lot of nightmares. Now, I noticed that there is no nightmare after I found my inner helper in a session we did and a safe place with the therapist and at special Ragamuffin house” (Quote from one of the children in the group)

The group has begun to find the resilience through their time together. Being together has given the opportunity for each kid to be connected with each other, naturally learn and improve socialization skill, exchange positive communication, and receiving group support which resulted in self-healing and personal development.

“I feel so moved to see how much the children have bloomed and grown since they attended these sessions, the parents can't stop talking about it too” (Quote from CASC’s staff)

Songkites www.songkites.com - is a new programme to inspire creative songwriting and leadership in Cambodian young people. This exciting new initiative is the fist of its kind in Cambodia and is focusing on the themes of conflict transformation, relationships and forgiveness to help young people to express and communicate original songs to a broad audience in Cambodia. 13 partcipants have attended group and individual workshops and sessions, the programme has a strong therapeutic core to help channel the expression of their life experiences into songwriting and music. A professional recording studio now based at Ragamuffin run by Euan Gray means these songs have been recorded and musically developed to a high standard. The songkite participants are about to launch their new original music in early 2014 to be featured on a special BBC movie in Cambodia, amongst other excting live opportunities.

'Songkites if my first ever musical family, its an unbelievable experience!"

"I have realised how powerful music is to heal and to express myself make sense of all the hurt and making this music, it makes me feel different, stronger and more able to face life's challenges"

"Songkites has made me feel so much more confident and able to express who I really am, I'm not afriad to be myself anymore...I think so many young people in Cambodia need this kind of programme for the future of this country"

(Quotes from Songkite participants 2013)

We are hoping to run another season of Songkites in 2014 and continue to develop the leadership and mentoring skills of this years participants. Watch this space and please contact us if you want to be more involved.

As the end of year draws to a close there is much to celebrate as Ragamuffin continues to seek to make healing and creative opportunities for people to restore or bring back light into their lives and so impact those around them. Every week in Ragamuffin boathouse there are many examples of how this is happening with children and adults. To celebrate and honour this year we are holding a special event to close this season:

Life-Creative - Festival of Lights on the 14th December brings together Cambodian's and International guests in a collaborative creative experience on the theme of light and the impact that it makes in our lives, our families, communities and the world around us.

How you are making a difference?

You become part of creating this light too...as we continue to pioneer a new operational model, everything you contribute makes a difference to the services we provide. As mental health services remain still so very limited in Cambodia, there still exists such enormous need. If you would like to know more information on any of the above please contact us - info@ragamuffinproject.org.

Thank you for being a part of this voyage and helping making a difference to so many people's lives who have come on board!

Carrie, Kit and The Ragamuffin Team Cambodia.

Aug 26, 2013

Whats going on in the Ragamuffin Boathouse?

Ragamuffin Boathouse
Ragamuffin Boathouse

The Ragamuffin Boathouse is a HUB for Arts Therapy, Creativity & Social Action.

An inspiring sanctuary in the heart of Phnom Penh, Cambodia

www.facebook.com/RagamuffinBoathouseCambodia  info@ragamuffinproject.org Phone: +85512521032

The Boathouse is an inspiring sanctuary in the Heart of Phnom Penh. Its peaceful light filled spaces wrapped in nature provides a unique environment and the conditions in which we can take risks, create, build relationships, and develop personally professionally and spirituality.

Home of Ragamuffin International/Cambodia INGO, Cloudstring Studio and the Boathouse HUB for creative professionals and freelance businesses. 

Our Vision is the development of a model of collaboration between NGO’s and professionals to foster, sustainability, creativity, relationships, community and spirituality.

Who’s on board?

  • Ragamuffin International (est. 1999) - Carrie Herbert, Kit Loring - Founders and Directors of Arts Therapy Services. Training, Supervision & Consultancy.

Ragamuffin Cambodia

  • ‘Be-yourself’ Arts Therapy Service for Cambodian Children and Adolescents run by Serey Samchet
  • Cloudstring Studio - Professional Recording Studio and Music Therapy Space run by Euan Gray
  • Boathouse HUB: We have flexible permanent and small team co-working desk spaces; artist in residence scheme, training & meeting room, unlimited wi-fi, 24-hour access & security, secure moto/cycle parking.
  • 'The Intimate Cafe' - in Ragamuffin's garden oasis - delicious, artistic homemade Khmer cuisine and catering services managed by Leakina - breakfast and on a bookings basis, special dinners on request
  • 'Life Creative' - Special Events - Special community events to celebrate International Days coordinated by Nataly Lee

Extracts of whats going on?

Ragamuffin International is supporting individuals and teams who work in a diverse cross-section of issues and needs in Cambodia from child protection, violence, abuse, trafficking and human rights issues. Continuing to capacity build, supervise and develop staff care and well-being in frontline organisations, teams and individuals. 

Be-Yourself project is currently working with children and adolencents who have survived acid attacks, are caught up in domestic violence, abuse and land evictions. A programme in partnership with M'Lop Russey is helping young adult orphans to be transitioned out of residential care into a community style foster care programme as Cambodia begins its move to reduce insitutionalised care. 

Cloudstring Studio has recently launched Songkites - a new programme to inspire creative songwriting in Cambodian young people. This exciting new initiative is the fist of its kind in Cambodia and will be focusing on the themes of conflict transformation, relationships and forgiveness to help young people to express and communicate original songs to a broad audience in Cambodia. www.songkites.com 

Boathouse HUB - home to creative professionals, innovation in rural povery solutions lab, environmental politics and ethnic minority specialists. Bringing sustainability, networks and collaboration to the traditional NGO model.

Life-Creative - International Peace Day on the 21st September brings together Cambodian's and International guests in a collaborative creative experience on the theme of forgiveness and peace - a pertiant theme for Cambodia at this present time.

How you are making a difference?

As we continue to pioneer a new operational model, everything you contribute makes a difference to the services we provide. As mental health services remain still so very limited in Cambodia, there still exists such enormous need. If you would like to know more information on any of the above please contact us - info@ragamuffinproject.org.

Thank you for being a part of this voyage and helping making a difference to so many people's lives who have come on board!

Carrie, Kit and The Ragamuffin Team Cambodia.

Sanctuary in the heart of the city
Sanctuary in the heart of the city
May 28, 2013

'I see you' Creative Arts Therapy for Acid Attack Survivors

‘I see you’ Creative Arts Therapy for Acid Attack Survivors

 A Partnership between Ragamuffin Cambodia and the Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity (CASC) 

CASC was formed in March 2006 by its partner organization, the Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC). CSC is one of few health care facilities in Cambodia providing free medical care to acid burn patients. Because CSC is a centre for general rehabilitative surgery, their ability to meet the needs of survivors of acid attacks, beyond immediate medical treatment, is limited. The social stigma surrounding attacks often leaves survivors feeling isolated, abandoned and shunned by family members, communities and service providers. Consequently, CSC made a commitment to create an organization to address the long-term needs of survivors of acid attacks. CASC now provides holistic care to people bearing such scars in a secure, compassionate and non-judgmental environment.

Acid attacks are a pre-meditated form of violence that leaves survivors physically, socially and emotionally and psychologically scarred. 

Innocent victims - Children are often caught up in acid attacks and not only are witness to the violence and severe injuries of a parent but suffer too physically, socially and emotionally.

'I see you' is an Arts Therapy programme designed to assess and support the psychological needs of children such as these. 

Ragamuffin are providing an Individual and group Arts Therapy programme in collaboration with a CASC social worker in an intial pilot funded by The Kadoorie Foundation. The Arts Therapists are working closely with the CASC team in the ongoing support and care planning for clients to ensure continuity of care.

"The children come to Ragamuffin Boathouse and can play out all their energy and distress. Their behaviour changes when they feel safe in this sanctuary to be themselves without any judgement or expectation. They can channel their feelings through the Arts and begin to share their deep feelings with the Arts Therapist. The parents have noticed the difference already in their behaviour. Every behaviour a child shows communicates something they are trying to say. 'I see you' is a unique programme that gives these children the chance to be deeply seen, heard and given a voice to express all the locked up feelings and distress inside - in being deeply seen and valued they can begin to 'be themselves"

The programme is having the following benefits:

  • Arts Therapy reducing the symptoms of acute distress for survivors of acid attacks, improving self-esteem, confidence and empowerment.
  • Strengthening capacity of the staff in CASC and parents/caregivers who provide psychological care and support.
  • Raised awareness within organisation of psychological care for survivors 

So much more is needed:

Long term Arts Therapy provision with both the children and their parents/ caregivers is needed to enable these children and their families to manage and live with complex injuries, social stigma and psychological suffering as a result of acid attacks. If you are interested in supporting this project please contact us at: ragamuffinproject@hotmail.com  

 

 

 

 


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