As per the baseline study for the Honeywell Safe Schools Program, 20% of parents surveyed fear eve teasing and 19% fear bullying as the greatest risk for their children. Adding to that, children today face multiple issues on a daily basis, be it exam pressure, peer pressure, depression, or other psychological and economic factors. Such child protection issues are a critical part of school safety. Yet, they are often hard to express.
To this end, SEEDS (Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society) as a part of its Honeywell Safe Schools Program organized an ‘Arts Based Therapy’ workshop at Laxmi Nagar in East Delhi. The workshop was organized to cater to the psychosocial needs of children at the school as well as the community level.
The Arts Based Therapy workshop had 50 children, SEEDS team, Honeywell volunteers and a professional ABT practioner – Sarika Gulati to create awareness on the need to express emotions and build a haven for children to share their daily life stories.
The session began with a ritual wherein participants were asked to visualize their favourite colour through an exercise. Thereon, the facilitators including SEEDS team and Honeywell volunteers engaged with the participants via activities on anger management and control.
As a part of the Closure activity of the workshop, children were given balloons as a medium to release anger. First, the children were asked to blow the balloons with anger, hold it and then gradually release the air from the balloons. Next on, the children were asked to blow the balloons again, but this time with warmth and love; and instead of releasing the air, tie the blown balloon with a thread.
Arts Based Therapy is best suited for children since it addresses emotional, social as well as family issues experienced on a daily basis. The method uses art (music, drama, visuals, creative writing etc.) as a medium to accomplish individual goals within a therapeutic relationship via strengthening and building capacities in coping daily life.
Simultaneously, Honeywell volunteers also facilitated a first-aid and fire safety training for children and community members at the same location.