5 Steps to Changing a Child's Story!


Remember when Matthias from Theater group, Changing Stories, sat down with us to discuss their first visit to Lesvos? Well, they're back from their second trip, and this time, he explains how to make an impact on children lives in 5 steps! 

1.     Gather children.
First things first! "As soon as we enter the campus, we start jumping around making loud noises. Two kids follow us and soon after, a large group of kids start to follow and sing along behind us.
It's such a cool experience, to see so many kids get out of their tents to follow us as we gather in the center of the campus!”

2.     Create friendships.
“While it’s a happy environment, it takes a while for the kids to trust you. Which is understandable, of course, they’ve been through so much at such a young age. Some of the teens have scars on their arms and begin to act out until they realize we’re here to make them smile, not the opposite. That’s when they finally start to let go and have fun.” 

3.     Encourage them to paint on you.
“Painting is fun and theraputic! As your creative juices flow, anger and sadness releases the body- at least, that's what we think! So, we wear white outfits (from head to toe) and give the kids paint and paintbrushes. We ask them to paint whatever they like on us. At first, they feel it's wrong to paint on someone else's clothes. But when we show them it’s ok, they really begin to enjoy it and seem calm and relaxed!”

4.     Encourage them to paint on paper and wood and their faces. 😊
“Painting on us is a good warm-up. Next, we give each other face-paints, which is always super fun! Most of them like to be painted as strong animals like tigers or lions!
Later, we give them paper, cardboard and pieces of wood to paint on. They paint things like, flags of Afghanistan, snakes, tigers, and hearts with 'mama' written in it.
But it doesn't matter what they draw, it's more about personal attention and physical contact than the result of what they make... It's a special thing to discover; the importance of personal attention.”

5.     Make a play with all their paintings.
“Once all the paintings are made and hung around the campus, we start our play. Everyone's welcome to watch, and those who'd like, can act out in the play.
The kids love this red car one of them made, and in turns, they drive the car around the campus. They have a lot of fun and they laugh the entire time! It's a satisfying feeling to see them forget about their reality for a second and to just...be a child.

We really feel the difference we are making on these children's lives, and we expect to schedule more trips in 2019. Our story is far from over!”

To read more about Changing Stories and their activites on Lesvos, check out their Facebook page!

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