Arts Therapy Clinic-Children in Crisis-CAMBODIA

by The Ragamuffin Project
Mar 15, 2011

Ragamuffin’s Arts Therapy Clinic - 2011 Update

Ragamuffin’s Arts Therapy Clinic for Children and Young People in Crisis – 2011 Update 

The attached document provides a brief narrative report from the clinic therapist and organisation partners. September 2010 to February 2011 has already seen significant developments and growth in Ragamuffin’s Arts therapy work in Cambodia as the new clinic opened and develops.

“One of my clients used to suffer a lot with somatic problems, which were caused by psychological problems before she came to get therapy here. After I have worked with her for 6 sessions through healing arts therapy, she has started to feel more connected to her body and get relief from her physical and emotional pain. Here is her quote “it is a peaceful place for me, I feel I am heard and healed. My body started to decrease the pain whenever I stepped into the room and expressed my feelings through my drawing and playing with all the toys. I could see my red heart come closer and closer to my body and I want them to be one ” (Samchet – Arts Therapist 2011)

Ragamuffin’s Arts Therapy Clinic for children and young people has now been set up. In partnership with six organisations, Ragamuffin’s Arts Therapists are working with children and young people with diverse needs and who are often from complex socio/economic backgrounds for example:

  • Children who live with HIV and have lost one or both parents from the disease.
  • Those who have experienced abuse or the violence of being trafficked and sexually exploited.
  • Children who grow up in families where domestic violence and addictions are prevalent.
  • Children in situations of poverty where they are forced to be involved in child labour to enable their family to survive
  • Children whose home is the streets or beach and are at risk from being exploited
  • Families who have been evicted from their land and have become refugees in their own country

“My client came in for first time and reported that she feels fine, she said that ” there is nothing in my past that bothers me “ Throughout the entire session, she tried to reassure me that nothing bad has happened to her. In the second session I asked her to draw a picture and she drew herself surrounded by different coloured hearts and she said “these are the hearts of all the bad people who have hurt me”. It was only through the creative medium that she was able to express her experiences, her pain, and so begin to consider how she might find hope for the future” (Panchakna Arts Therapist 2011).

“The most noticeable impact on both the group and individual sessions has been on participants' new found ability to express themselves and their feelings, alongside a more grounded outlook on life. We see improvements in mental health, physical health, success of livelihood and/or increased opportunities, and a renewed desire to help others in their community”. (LICHADO Director 2010)

Working with Partner Organisations enables us to develop joined up services; strengthen the capacity of the organisation’s psychological services through training; develop policies and protocols for safeguarding children and provide programmes of individual and group Creative Arts Therapy. Ragamuffin’s Therapists provide a specialist service that works alongside social workers, caregivers and medical staff.

“The clinic offers our staff more support and supervision and allows us to refer cases where we are struggling to provide the services the child needs, e.g. situations where children have long term problems and are not recovering”. (M’Lop Tapang)

 “The art therapy and counselling team feel more supported and less 'stuck' with difficult cases as they have Ragamuffin to refer to or seek advice and support from. This makes staff feel more confident and safe and less overwhelmed”. (M’Lop Tapang)

It's a long-term commitment which means that a real impact can be attained. Partnership with a team that understands the cultures and the challenges specific to the country and the people. Expertise in an area where knowledge and qualified people are scare. Expertise within National staff which means translation is not an issue. Support from a top to bottom level, i.e. capacity building regarding the development of individual children right up to support building, the process runs throughout the entire organisation. A short-term financial investment into the development of the psychological services, which will result in long-term sustainable improvement.   (AFESIP)


You can read more about these developments in the document attached.

Your support is making this possible.

Thank you from all the team in Ragamuffin Cambodia - hand in hand and side by side together making a difference!



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Organization Information

The Ragamuffin Project

Location: Phnom Penh, NA - Cambodia
Project Leader:
Carrie Herbert
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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