Show gratitude in everything

2019-03-19 06:00
Zaid Philander (middle) with some participants at BAP.

Zaid Philander (middle) with some participants at BAP.

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Butterfly Art Project (BAP) in Capricorn is running a gratitude project designed to grow gratitude in children from eight years on for their own well-being.

BAP is a non-profit organisation where they encourage creativity and healing in children through art. The project uses art as a medium to counteract the effects of immense social challenges on children. The challenges they face destabilise and traumatise them, threatening their childhood development.

This Gratitude Project training module offers Community Art Facilitators (CAFs) an opportunity to be part of a seven-month- long project that includes four weeks of training in art facilitation with children/youth, eight weeks of implementation with on-site mentoring and an exhibition with a prize-giving ceremony.

Each participant will learn skills in fabric painting, hand sewing, embroidery and other forms of needlework. In order to implement within their own communities, they will be taught educational skills to guide the children/youth in their communities through the creation of a fabric square that depicts what each participant is most grateful for.

BAP chose the gratitude theme because research shows that gratitude leads to more positive relationships with others, it improves psychological health, physical health, enhances empathy and reduces aggression. It also allows one to sleep better, improves self-esteem and increase mental strength.

Zaid Philander, Art Partner Support Manager at BAP, says they might not be able to change what is happening around people but showing gratitude makes life easier. “Some people might not have food, others houses burnt down but with gratitude, things become lighter and can do a lot of this. Hence we thought we should have these gratitude projects. We have a lot of issues that can’t solve but we can change the way we look at things” he says.

Those taking part in this programme will each work on 38cm x 44cm square fabric for themselves as well as their beneficiaries that depicts what each participant is most grateful for. These fabric squares will be mended together through a needlework process as a collective group. The quilt that will be done from these squares will be exhibited at a surprise venue in July.

“Each facilitator will implement the same lesson within their own community with children aged 8-years-old and above, resulting in each group to create their own ‘Gratitude Blanket’. CAFs are mentored after the gratuity module training through on-site visits which encourages implementation and monitors the effectiveness of our training,” says Philander.

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