Long after the actual battles are over; when the gunshots have ceased and the fires in the streets have died down, children still walk in fear as the vivid memories of those events crash around inside their minds. Nightmares are very much alive and the children struggle to overcome the emotional trauma from a childhood lost to war. For many of these children, survival was an overwhelming daily task. They have lived their whole lives on the streets or in unimaginable conditions. Growing up, they never had the chance to develop things such as social skills, coping mechanisms or fine motor skills.
In order for the children to be productive member of the community they need to acheive emotional healing. The Congolese are known throughout Africa for their creative and artisitic gifts. DRC has been home to many well-known artists in music, dance, painting and sculpture. Mwangaza believed that by tapping into the creative talents of these children, they could perhaps find an outlet to allow them a chance to express their feelings and begin to heal.
For those associated with Mwangaza, July has become a month for artists! Our art camps provide activities that allow children to express themselves through song, dance and painting. Each July the Art Camp caravan stops by each of our partnering orphanages and then the fun begins! The children spend days learning how to let go of their fears and find their imaginative sides. Tapping in the creative talent of the children has proven to be the best therapy for these little ones. It brings healing and builds self-esteem. After camp follow-up care is provided through the school year with "Creative Days". Our friends in the USA and Canada ship over 500 pounds of art supplies each year to make sure that each little artist has what they need to make the best quality art possible.