Summer smiles for children with cancer.
The weather was very changeable this summer in Ukraine, but our desire to bring joy to our small friends from children's department of National Institute of cancer was unchangeable.
Though we had to skip one month of July because of quarantine in the department, in June and August we kept our art-therapy lessons, holding painting, scrub-booking and origami workshops. Children were excited to make dinosaurs, flying airplanes, swirling whirligig at origami workshops. One of the most memorable lessons was «Planet of flowers» workshop from our volunteer Elena, professional artist and photographer, where children learned to make colorful ball-planet, using different techniques and materials, starting from...simple newspaper.
We were happy to mark that parents were showing more and more interest to art-therapy lessons and were participating more actively in our workshops along with children!
In the process of our art-therapy program we got an idea how we can use the arts that children make at our workshops. Along with exhibitions that constantly are organized in the department hall we also got an idea to organize charity bazaars. Through such bazaars we sale children's arts, collecting money for some necessary equipment or medicine for the department. We received a permission from few superstores for such actions, and also few companies agreed to provide us with some books and toys as production for such bazaars. As a result for last 3 years we held few charity bazaars and we could provide the children department of National Institute of cancer with two big washing machines, plasma-extractor, mixer of donor blood. This year we also held few charity bazaar in order to buy operation lamp for the bandage room. So in June we could buy and present the operation lamp for the department. We received the letter of gratitude from National Institute of cancer for operation lamp and also the letter of gratitude for art-therapy workshops for children.
Though we conclude the project «Healing smiles for children with cancer» at Global Giving, it continues and becomes permanent. The project became one of the main activity of our organization and it attracts more an more volunteers and supporters. We will continue to involve also professional trainers, as volunteers, as well as paid specialists. And we plan to continue charity bazaars where we can sale children's arts, buying some equipment or medicine for the department for collected money. Among our further plans also is organizing children's visits to science-cultural-entertaining center «Atmasfera-360», starting from September. The Center became a favorite place for children of the City as it shows colorful and cognitive presentations using modern technologies.
We are deeply grateful to all our donors who made this project possible and helped it to grow! We believe that thanks to our joint efforts healing process for children with cancer will be more smooth and quick!
The spring as a new beginning for everything enriched our project with new interesting workshops, new active volunteers and new ideas.
Along with painting, scrub-booking and especially origami lessons from our Ukrainian and Japanese volunteers, that we keep conducting and that already became favorite for children, we always look for some new forms of art-therapy. We research how much useful and effective each form is. So this spring we tried fairy-tales and games therapy. The workshops were given by the candidate of psychological sciences, assistant professor of theoretical and counseling psychology of Institute of sociology, psychology and management Mrs. Irina Lysenko. It went along with our intention to attract specialists and experts for our project who could conduct professional and highly effective workshops for children. Fairy-tales therapy was like a way for children through making their game, their dream and their story to open their soul and liberate themselves from fear and uncertainty. Children played with toys creating their fairy-tales under Mrs. Irina guidance. And in the end of the workshop they received that toys as a present. Next block of workshops that we are planning together with Mrs. Irina is stone therapy and tissue therapy.
And following our plan we held three «Balloons of goodness» workshops. One of them we organized specially for children in the department where children together with our volunteers learned to inflate shaped balloons, drawing and writing their wishes on the balloons. And two other workshops we organized in a Kiev Zoo together with volunteers and parents. One of them went on May 26 and was dated to the Day of Kiev, and the second one went on June 1, on International Children's Defense Day. Our volunteers were inflating shaped balloons: flowers, frogs, dogs and so on, — and gave them to children-visitors of the zoo. The balloons were given in an exchange for a donation that were collected to buy B.Braun systems for intravenous for children. As one balloon costs as much as one system we put a motto «Buy balloon — present B.Braun system for child with cancer!», and many people — visitors of the zoo – were inspired to give such a help, buying our colorful balloons of goodness. One more joyful point for us was that through «Balloons of goodness» program we could find 6 new volunteers. That girls volunteers together with our staff went through 2 master-classes from specialists learning how to make shaped balloons, they participated in projects at the zoo and two of them conducted «Balloons of goodness» workshop for children in the department.
We are deeply grateful to all our donors and we are looking forward with inspiration for «Summer art-therapy» with our small friends!
We entered the year 2012 with new inspiration, because our project continues and becomes more various and interesting. It started with a happy moment of congratulating children with New Year holidays and presenting gifts for them. And this year we decided to bring some new ideas and new forms of art-therapy for our small friends from children department of National Institute of cancer. Thus one time we brought some nice table games and played them altogether with children and parents. That day we collected so many smiles and laughter from them as probably never before. Another time the head of the department gave us an idea: please come just to communicate with children. That day we spent few hours in the department going ward by ward and talking with children. We started with boy Kostya who got paralyzed because of sarcoma of the left ribs, talking for about an hour with him and his mother. And that day we could see that communication is also an important therapy, as for children, as for their parents.
And these inspiring 3 months period finished with a long-awaited conference-festival on February 25. We decided to date our festival to International day of children with cancer that was on February 15. The conference-festival started with exhibition of children's arts and also pictures exhibition where we presented our art-therapy work. Teachers, students, representatives of governmental and public organizations from the whole Ukraine, as well as representatives from Ministry of education of Ukraine, attended the conference-festival. We decided to use the festival as an opportunity to deliver the message about the meaning of International day of children with cancer and about this issue in Ukraine. And also we used it as a chance to promote volunteering, so the conference included the award ceremony for organizations that held the best service projects during the year 2011. Everyone could also enjoy entertainments, greetings and speeches from invited guests.
The only sad point was that children from the department couldn't come for the festival, because just a day before there was the quarantine announced. So we are waiting for the quarantine to get over for us to visit our small friends again.
After we finished our summer classes in children department of National Institute of cancer, new academic year started for us with new inspiration. We have new people that help us with the project and new volunteers. So these 3 autumn months were very varied for our small patients. They did origami with our Japanese and Ukrainian volunteers, for the first time had aerography workshops, studied classical drawing.
We are happy that through our project we can not only help children with cancer, but also encourage young people to become volunteers. During this 1,5 years of holding art-therapy for children with cancer we could attract few talented young people as volunteers to our project. Thus last month we found young artist Yuri. He held already few lessons with children and expressed hid desire to do it constantly. Yuri is a professional artist and his job is connected with aerography. Children were very inspired to try aerograph and they didn't let Yuri go for more than 3 hours!
Our organization also signed an agreement with Kiev college of communications that expressed desire to help our project. Since next week they will send their srudents as volunteers for art-therapy lessons 1-2 times per month.
Now we are preparing for the final part of our project: festival with exhibition of children's arts. But actually we will not finish the project itself. We plan to continue art-therapy lessons next year and further. And next week we are starting painting walls in the primary inspection room in the children department. This is the room where each child comes for first inspection, according to medical direction of their doctors. So this room accept children from the whole Ukraine and has high turnover every day.
We want to deeply thank all donors that have been supporting our project. And we are deeply grateful to Global Giving that enable us to make our dreams real and to make our deeds much more extensive!
My name is Clinton Misamore. I am a Field Program Officer for GlobalGiving. Over the past three months I have been visiting GlobalGiving projects throughout Russia and Ukraine. On July 6th, 2011, I had the unique opportunity to visit with the All-Ukrainian Youth Public Organization "Service For Peace," in Kiev, Ukraine. I was also fortunate enough to particpate directly in one of their art therapy sessions---making arts and crafts with children who are fighting cancer.
The art workshop consisted of dedicated volunteers making oragami and singing songs with the children. Toms Silenieks, Project Coordinator, explained to me that the children are really responsive to these activities as it allows them to feel active during their treatment process and allows them to create something authentic. As this specific activity proceeded the conversations seemed to cease. Everyone was fixated on producing the perfect art project. In fact, the children were quite quick to help their neighbors in the much confusing excercises of orgami--- a difficult affair indeed. The important thing was that for that one hour nothing else seemed to matter. The therapy works!
It was an amazing personal experience to find out more about the operations of Service For Peace as well as to collaborate with Toms and Anna (project advisor). The organization is operated by just a few skilled, passionate individuals but clearly illustrates how a few individuals with an idea can help. I strongly recommend All-Ukrainian Youth Public Organization "Service For Peace."
I would like to kindly recognize and thank Toms, Anna, and everyone else who made this visit possible. GlobalGiving is proud to be in collaboration with such a top notch organization and we look forward to working with you in the years to come.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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