Guillaume, a trained art therapist who worked through the medium of dance joined us for an intense two weeks in the end of July. He came to us through Planete Urgence, a France-based organization which specializes in sending skilled volunteers where they are needed around the world. Sharana has close ties with Planete Urgence.
Guillaume conducted two therapy sessions daily: in the morning with the children of the day care center, and in the evening at the evening tuition centre.
Our mission in these two short weeks was twofold: to conduct regular dance therapy sessions with the children, and simultaneously to train the teachers and social workers of his methods and pedagogies to enable them to hold these sessions independently in the future.
With so much dancing, music, and interaction, it’s no suprise that the children had a marvelous time. In the beginning, the children were at times shy and self-conscious in their movements, they soon opened up and smiled, they improved at sharing how they felt, and released their agitations and frustrations into the energy of dance. We all experienced the instant results of art therapy.
Last year we had had a glimpse of the effects of art therapy through dance with Nadia-another specialized volunteer (who also came to us through Planete Urgence), but this July last year’s seeds grew and blossomed. Guillaume had brought the program to a beautiful fruition.
In the afternoon, when the heat seemed to overtake everything in Pondicherry, the teachers and social workers did their training with Guillaume. By the end of his stay all the teachers and social workers had held individual sessions of art therapy through dance without Guillaume’s help or intervention.We thank Guillaume and wish him a happy returning to France and his work.
In the end, we are happy to have had the opportunity to continue training our Social workers in art and dance therapy techniques. We are now well on our way to integrating these new therapies and approaches into our programs–to keep our children happy and dancing always.