Healing through the arts

In February I had a chance to visit Nandhivaram, Panchayat Union Primary School, Kancheepuram.  NalandaWay organized volunteer educators, therapists and social workers to go to this school to provide a regular therapeutic program using movement and visual arts.  This school is in rural Tamil Nadu, about 2 hours south west of Chennai.  This area was heavily effected by the monsoon floods from December 2015.  Students used multiple forms of art for expression; including storytelling, dance/movement, song, and visual arts. It was one of the best experiences of my life.  Although these kids had witnessed a lot of tragedy and hardship the school was clearly a respected structure within the community and students could feel safe enough to enjoy being children once again.  The pictures below share what the children were involved in on the day I observed.  I found the kids to be friendly, fun, happy, and introspective.  These kids loved the arts workshop and it was written all over their faces.

IMG_2712
Almost like a game of head, shoulders, knees and toes.
IMG_2735
A group of primary students waiting to get started.
IMG_2743
After movement, students go to visual arts where they can draw in response to their movement activities.
IMG_2748
A smiley group.  All of these students wanted to take lots and lots of pictures.
IMG_2753
Upper primary school kids getting to work in art class.
IMG_2756
Taking a moment for the camera.
IMG_2757
The combination of movement and art are a great combination for these kids.  All of them seemed to enjoy the whole experience and really value the time they had in the art classes.
IMG_2763
A walk around the school building.
IMG_2792
Primary group and movement.
IMG_2803
A upper elementary student sharing her work with me.  During the movement activity, the therapists told a story about animals and how they helped each other cross the river on the backs of turtles.

IMG_2806IMG_2810IMG_2815IMG_2816

IMG_2818
Looking at the building you can see how far the water may have come up on the side.

IMG_2819IMG_2821IMG_2824IMG_2827

IMG_2829
At the end of the upper elementary art class students made small bracelets and exchanged them with someone else.
IMG_2833
The room got quiet as they exchanged bracelets with other, students really showed how much they cared for each other with this small sentiment.

IMG_2835IMG_2841IMG_2848IMG_2858IMG_2861IMG_2868IMG_2869IMG_2878IMG_9556.jpg

 

IMG_2699.JPG

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s