We had an amazing time with Dr. Michelle Sanders doing Art and Soul together with survivors of human trafficking from our Restore Program.
Art and Soul is a program where people explore their thoughts and emotions through the medium of art and specific teaching. The structure of the seminar was very practical. Michelle first started with teaching, where she talked about who we are, how to deal with our emotions and how to express how we feel in a healthy way. After that, we learnt the basic of painting and then we went straight into it.
It was quite refreshing being able to paint away all the pain, all the suffering, all the darkness from our lives, all those things that we were hiding beneath our mask. We had the chance to express ourselves, to play with colours, to feel the joy of light instead of the shades of darkness. The girls had the possibility to create something new, a new start, a fresh beginning. They could dream again, they could take back control even if it started with the control of a brush on a canvas. One brush, one canvas, infinite possibilities!
All the painting created a safe place for girls to open up, to reveal the pain from their souls, to express how they feel inside, how they see themselves. Sometimes it was ugly and dark and scary. But the exposure, this courageous revealing of self through art, was the first step towards healing and restoration.
Here are some testimonies from the girls
"I like it. I stopped thinking about my problems. I don’t want to go home. It helped me. It took away my tiredness."
"I’ve never painted before and now I like to paint."
"It helped me to calm down a bit."
"It helped me understand the feelings of shame and how to react when I`m being hurt by someone."
"I received hope for the future during the painting. This helped me to discover my identity.
So what did we do at Art and Soul? We coloured our soul!