Reactive Therapy Center
- It all started through a group of volunteers that included two painters who had studied art therapy. The volunteers used to visit the children in their rooms or hold drawing and crafts activities in the Hospital’s library. Our children loved the activities as it gave them the chance of converting their stresses to art works. They used to go to the library asking about the activities which pushed the volunteers to set fixed times for them. The volunteers were eager to be part of our children’s treatment through their contribution in reducing their anxieties and converting their anger to art activities, indirectly changing their behavior. The art therapy positively impacted the children’s immunity and response to medication as well as their social life. Setting regular hours for the art activities gave the volunteers group the chance to discover talented children. They decided to participate in art exhibitions and contests to show talented children’s work. The outcome of the exhibitions were used to fund the activities.
- In 2015, as the volunteers found a room that was not used, they used it to gather children and have them involved in the activities. The Hospital’s management was surprised to see the unused room decorated and used for art activities. They also noticed the positive effect of the activities on children. Being keen to offer children all means of medical and moral support to reduce their suffering, the Hospital management decided to establish a reactive therapy center, operated by the volunteers group.
- In 2016 the management decided to move the reactive therapy center to a bigger room so they can engage more children in the activities. Currently the department which includes 20 volunteers receives up to 60 children a day, and yet is still totally self-sufficient materially, depending on the funds they receive from exhibitions. Currently, there are many talented children who present their work in public exhibitions, have their paintings and art works sold, and use the income to fund the workshop activities.
- Participation in exhibitions draw professional artists’ attention to the department and talented children. They come to visit the department occasionally and help them by giving advices and making donations to the department.
- Working according to scientific rules, the workshop workers categorized the children according to age. For children under the age of five, they engage them in activities that suite their age, through which they aim to win their trust gradually, as they set a rule to have the child enter the workshop without the parents. This way, children learned to express their feelings through art works. For older children besides having them share in activities that suites their ages, they used to go out for trips and camps.
- The reactive therapy center work team pays special attention to children with brain or bone tumors as children with solid tumors are often exposed to a sort of motion or sensory disability after the surgery. Being involved in art therapy may act like physiotherapy through training children to use their hands to do art work. This way, the art workshop offers the child the chance to convert his suffering into art work and retrieve his self-confidence.