ARTON Bulgaria Foundation
The project focuses on a major problem in Bulgarian society - the importance and care for the mental health of children with cancer. The project includes conducting a hospital art program with creative sessions in groups for the children and their companion in a pediatric oncology clinic. The project aims to include and strengthen the understanding and participation of the local community in caring for the mental health of children with cancer through organized charity campaigns and exhibitions.
Plovdiv and Varna, Bulgaria
The specific challenge before us is that various initiatives, forms and programs for children's mental health do not receive state financial support. This forces NGOs and the local community to work together for this great cause. Our teams are still struggling with official government policies and stereotypes that physical health is a priority and as such deserves all the resources - financial and expertise. In order to develop mental health care for children who have experienced severe cancer treatment, we as a community are constantly looking for funding opportunities.
The target group we work for are children undergoing cancer treatment and their companions in the hospital. These are patients aged 5 to 18 who participate in the art sessions conducted by our team. Additionally, our art therapy is aimed at mothers / companions of children, for whom separate art therapy sessions are held. The art therapy program aims at emotional and physical recovery, relaxation and well-being of the participants.
We plan to hold daily group art sessions for children patients and for mothers in a pediatric oncology clinic. The art sessions are prepared thematically and meaningfully in advance by an oncopsychologist, who researches and adjusts the lesson to the psychological needs and abilities of the children. An art therapist conducts the sessions at different times for the children and for the mothers / companions, as well as conducts individual art sessions for children in bed who cannot participate in the general groups. Thus, the art sessions help and develop the abilities of all participants to cope with difficult emotional experiences, to communicate current difficulties, to rest and to recover from the fight against the insidious disease. To involve the local community in the cause, we plan to organize public charity campaigns to collect art materials, organize public exhibitions of works from the sessions, as well as cooperation with partners from NGOs and business to provide the necessary equipment for art sessions - such as mobile tables for creativity, tripods for drawing, etc. We will actively publish on the official website of the foundation and on the Facebook page the course of the project, the successes and the achieved specific goals.
The ongoing art therapy program will support children with cancer to cope with the emotional difficulties that accompany the disease. Psychological support, creativity with an art therapist and open communication will make children calmer, more open to share and tell experiences, will unite them and stimulate them to support each other. The art sessions for the attendants will support the mental recovery of mothers who need additional care for their resilience throughout the treatment. By organizing complementary initiatives - public charity campaigns and exhibitions will increase public awareness of the opportunities of each individual to be useful, will encourage more people from the local community to be active and aware.
The example of small patients - to stand up to the difficulties, the pain, the fear - by treating the trauma in art therapy sessions - gives new perspectives for thousands of people to deal with the severe illness. The involvement of more and more people in the Foundation's initiatives - to develop, distribute and continue the art therapy practices, makes the mission extensive and significant. Changing public attitudes to the disease mobilizes groups of people to collaborate and disseminate the art therapy practices and for other vulnerable groups of people in hospitals centers in Bulgaria. In this way, our activity takes on a example character, laying the ground for the development of new community practices of mutual assistance and support.
The founder of the foundation and creator of the art program is Svetlana Chivganova - oncopsychologist with twenty years of experience in a pediatric oncology clinic at the University Hospital in Varna. She and her fellow psychologists and art therapists from all over the country conducted specialized trainings for artists in 2014 and together created a team that conducts hospital sessions in art therapy. Our team of art therapists, oncopsychologists and program coordinator has been working since the foundation of the foundation in 2013 until today sustainably, with professionalism and high responsibility in caring for people's mental health.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
By cost category:
Art materials and supplies - 5624.21 EUR
Public events - exhibitions, campaigns - 2556.46 EUR
Fees for specialists - art therapist, psychologist, coordinator - 9203.26 EUR
For us any feedback is useful both from people directly involved in activities similar to ours, and from people who share personal opinions, opinions, views on new opportunities and practices.