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People displaced by the war
When we talk about people displaced by the war, we speak of levels of health in a time of trauma. At the first level, they need shelter and safety. We don't provide housing, the city does. Living in Izmail, people are relatively safe. We don't live in proximity to Russian soldiers, tanks or canon. On August 1st, however, we received our first drone strike, damaging port facilities and offices.
We provide products like food and clothing and medicine. (click here for more on What We Do). We do this on a supplemental basis. These people have some financial resources and can obtain some funding from the city. So they are not entirely dependent on us. This gives us a chance to meet people and tell them about our Centers for Creativity and Sport. This is the beginning of movement to the next level: socialization and the idea of normalcy, life becoming normal.
They often want and certainly need to meet people. They need activities, like sports and walking, and talking and meeting for coffee. They need friends. Their children need friends. This we notice: when children are happy, parents are happy.
The experience, however, "is always in the background." * Sometimes it comes front and center, but mostly it stays in the background. The memory of what happened, what was destroyed, and who was killed in this war and in the hometown is always in the background.
At some point in their readjustment, adults and children of displaced families have energy for creativity. I see it in the simple acts of painting and drawing, but it is also for some, acted out in starting a business, learning Internet Technology, taking an interest in sports, or finding a house or apartment to buy and remodel. For a few, we are talking about forms of fine art, writing, prose or poetry, playing music, singing, photography, videography or filmmaking, as drama or documentary, art in all its classic forms. Alongside a place of war and destruction, always comes, a place for creativity.
Throughout history, much of the most creative work has come out of times and places of destruction: novels, music, art, film. For many brilliant artists, the time they were most creative was the time in their lives that was the most painful or difficult.
I don't understand the why of all this, but it has caused us to re-think our work and future. In what ways can we facilitate the creativity of the parents and children displaced by the war?
The final level of this process is history. This also is an act of creativity. We make history. When this war is over, people will read about what was done, not just between armies, but behind the lines where people help people and people change people, for the better.
Robert Gamble, July 2023
*words spoken by Dr. Kelly Van Sickle, psychologist, Farmington NM, USA
Click Here if you wish your donation only to be used to purchase supplies (food, medicine, boots and jackets) to help people displaced by this war.
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