Well, when the RISE Foundation approached me with the idea of putting paint cans into the hands of 30 small children at the Refuge, you could say a little bit of anxiety erupted. But, that's exactly what we ended up doing with some incredible results, lending color and the kids' special designs to our community center project.
The first day, we gathered all the kids into the hall of the Refuge and gave the kids large sheets of paper to draw whatever they liked. We hoped this might be an opportunity for them to perhaps share with colors what they might not be able to share verbally.
The RISE Foundation has seen this technique effective in drawing out children who have been traumatized by the recent conflicts gripping the country, with some depicting very graphic images of how they saw the mass murderers of ISIS.
Our group of refugees or IDPs were fortunate to not have glimpsed the horror that is ISIS. They were informed from a sympathetic party in a nearby village that ISIS was coming that day, and thus, managed to escape but only just.
In looking at the children's artwork it seemed apparent that they have fond memories already of our community center and now refugee camp project by drawing the building with happy colors of the rainbow.
We managed to set up a camera in the ceiling to record this awesome time-lapse video of the event.
After all the kids drew their pictures we gathered downstairs in the carpeted conference room where we discussed the 'stories behind the pictures'. I think it went really well, and now we've got to see if we can't get each of these kids a paint can without freaking out.