After Earthquake, Kids In Nepal Heal Through Art

A group is providing some comfort to kids in Nepal through art therapy.

Following the magnitude-7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal last month, the staff from Nepal Children's Art Museum (CAM) has been working at a child friendly space (CFS) -- an area set-up by UNICEF that provides support for children following emergencies -- to help kids create art as a form of healing.

Children playing with puppets as part of the Nepal Children's Art Museum's program.

CAM is trying to extend its efforts further by raising money for its initiative through a crowdfunding campaign to bring art therapy programs to other child friendly spaces in Nepal. So far, they have raised around $4,300 of a $20,000 goal.

The group hopes its work can give the kids some support during this difficult time, according to founder Sneha Shrestha.

"Art is a good way to help them recover from the disaster. Providing children with learning experiences during these hard times gives children safety and predictability," Sneha told The Huffington Post. "We hope that they don’t lose their imagination and continue to draw, play, learn and just be children."

Children drawing at a CFS as part of CAM's program.

At the CFS, the museum staff provides art supplies and toys to the children, Nistha Shrestha, CAM’s director, told HuffPost. They participate in creative and educational activities with the kids as well. Sometimes, the children tell stories with puppets CAM has given them, or draw different landscapes or objects. While art may not seem so important after a natural disaster, it can be crucial to a child's rehabilitation.

"Some of these children have not had any of these experiences even before the earthquake occurred," Nistha said. "We hope that we are giving them an opportunity to associate the earthquake with more positive memories of a space where they feel safe, cared for and appreciated."

Children participating in CAM's program.

The initiative seems to have had a positive effect on the kids. Nistha told HuffPost that art has become something the children eagerly look forward to each day.

"When we start to pack up, they hang around, not wanting to leave ... We have to constantly assure them that we will be back the next day to get them to leave!"

Children molding small structures, as part of CAM's program.

For more information or to donate, visit Nepal Children's Art Museum's fundraiser here.



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