Arts, Participation, Enrichment: creative missions with Ukrainian refugee children in Lithuania
Over 60 thousand of the 6 million war refugees forced to flee their homes have arrived in Lithuania since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, among them- 20 thousand children.
We currently carry out creative missions for Ukrainian war refugees’ children in two locations: Kulautuva (Kaunas district) and Vilnius. With the assistance of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and Save the Children Lithuania, to create a safe and welcoming environment where children and young people can escape reality, express their accumulated emotions through creativity, and spiritually recover. We strive to create a positive environment in which they can live their lives, grow, and communicate.
Creative missions help children to build a bridge between the past and present, the culture of origin and Lithuanian society.
Artscape facilitates #creativemissions that encourage participation, authenticity, and familiarity— a journey on which clients can integrate different pieces of their identity through self-expression. The workshops provide a safe space for expression, acknowledge and value diversity, allow for continuity, and aid in the transformation of growth. The basis of the “creative missions’ approach is the development of a non-hierarchical workshop environment that encourages one-on-one and small group interactions in order to foster stronger bonds and deep learning amongst participants. We strongly believe that art is a powerful tool to strengthen unaccompanied children in their process of moving from an old to a new environment.
Getting to safety is only the beginning. In order to thrive, one needs a space for resilience, well-being, and social links—necessary for successful integration.
Photos by Alda Eikevičiūtė