WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.

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.
Feb 19, 2014

Be-Yourself and Fly with Songkites!

Songkites!
Songkites!

I. The Overview of  Be-yourself Arts Therapy Project: by Serey Samchet (Be-Yourself Arts Therapist and Project Coordinator)

Be-yourself developed from Ragamuffin’s Arts Therapy Clinic as a Khmer led project in 2013. The aim of this project is to bring healing, nurture, honor, and celebration to the lives of the most vulnerable children and young people in Cambodia. The project is so passionate to offer creative arts therapy as a natural and powerful healing process to individuals and group of young people and adults who are suffered by psychological problems in order to discover their essence of who they are, their connectedness with others, their ability to heal from traumatic experiences and grow, and to lead a good quality of life. Our project strongly believes in the power of arts therapy in enabling people to be themselves, to transform and celebrate their life, other people, and their world.

 

II. Project’s outcome

Throughout this whole year, the project has worked in collaboration with both international and local partnership NGO’s such as M’Lop Russey, Domnok Tek, Cambodia Acid Survivors Charity, LICHADO, Chab Dia, International Justice of Mission and Citipoint in order to deliver arts therapy, supervision, training, and emergency de-briefing to key staff including: social workers and counselors, community leaders, profound disability children and adolescents, foster families, and other traumatized young orphanages . As the result of these services, there were remarkable positive impacts on people who we have been directly working with as well as people who received the services and support from them in various ways such as self- development, improvement of their personal and professional quality at work and home, improvement of stress management and self-care skill, and gaining knowledge of mental health and other beneficial learning related to their work.

III. Future Plan of the project

  • The project will continue the collaboration with the current partnership organizations and to extend more collaboration with some other NGOs that are working in Cambodia as well as some private sectors that are looking to develop their staff care programs.
  •  The project will develop the first ever arts therapy training in solely Khmer language in 2014 for the social workers, counselors, and staffs who are working in psychosocial sector which will be trained by Cambodian arts therapists.

Thank you so much for your contributions to supporting this vitally important work in Cambodia.  

 

Songkites 2014 (Euan Gray & Carrie Herbert) 

Introducing Songkites

“I really think my music and the music from Songkites can help young people in Cambodia to believe in who they are and believe in themselves”. Kan Pich (Songkites Season 1)

Songkites supports Cambodian songwriters to write, record and release original songs. www.songkites.com.

With a focus on encouraging creativity and originality through authentic expression and inspiration, songwriters participate in a series of workshops to explore and develop their creative process. Throughout the workshops they receive individual coaching from professional songwriters and therapeutic support from professional Arts Therapists.  This helps them develop both technical skills and understand and express themselves assertively as they explore life experience in their songwriting.

They then prepare a demo of their original song which is recorded at Songkites Studio. This new song is mixed, mastered and then released internationally.

The experience culminates in a special live performance concert at one of Phnom Penh's best music venues. Each songwriter is then supported to create their own merchandise to accompany and promote their music, given further opportunities to perform and showcase their music and encouraged to be involved with future Songkites programs.

Ultimately, the aim of Songkites is to foster a community of Khmer songwriters who nurture and support each other, and help to promote the emergence of more creative, original, life-affirming music.

Why Songkites?

Cambodia’s most loved traditional kites are called Khleng Ek. Literally meaning 'unique kite', they are celebrated because they produce musical tones as they fly. Traditionally, they are flown to give thanks for bountiful harvests, however the practice was suppressed during the Khmer Rouge period until recently.

Kites are wonderful symbols of freedom and creating original music is about being free; free to be yourself and express yourself authentically through music. Creativity knows no boundaries, yet it too was suppressed in Cambodia's traumatic recent history. Songkites encourages emerging songwriters to take hold of the string, and let their musical kite fly free!

How It Came About

Songkites emerged in the inspiring environment of Ragamuffin Boathouse, an Arts Therapy and Creative Hub in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Ragamuffin Co-Directors Carrie Herbert and Kit Loring, both songwriters, have long professed the important role of music in creative and personal development. On the top floor of the building, songwriter, educator, and Ragamuffin’s therapeutic music facilitator, Euan Gray had been setting up a recording studio called Songkites Studio. With their shared passion for encouraging growth through songwriting, Carrie and Euan created the project with the generous assistance of seed funding from a private donor and match funding from BBC Loy 9.

The Venue

The group workshops, rehearsals and performances take place in an inspiring multi-purpose space called 'The Boat Room'. Looking over the boat room is Songkites Studio, recording studio where the songs are created, recorded and mixed. Get in touch if you want to know about our first Album launch and Songkites Season2. 

“Songkites is the place to discover who I am. I knew about music but didn’t know how to make a song from my heart. Jimmy Kiss (Songkites Participant, Season 1)

Studio Recording
Studio Recording
Songkites workshop
Songkites workshop
P2 recording his song
P2 recording his song

Links:

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
 

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $20
    give
  • $40
    give
  • $80
    give
  • $160
    give
  • $240
    give
  • $1,250
    give
  • $2,500
    give
  • $20
    each month
    give
  • $40
    each month
    give
  • $80
    each month
    give
  • $160
    each month
    give
  • $240
    each month
    give
  • $1,250
    each month
    give
  • $2,500
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?