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Art Healing Program
Ukrainian refugee artists helping Ukrainian refugee families
The Mountain Seed Foundation’s Art Healing Program

We are excited to share updates on our Art Healing Programs in five countries in Europe. These programs promote adaptability, confidence, and skill-building to help cope with stress, anger, fear, and uncertainty.

This program is particularly special because it began with our very own beneficiaries and Healing Base Camp participants: Halyna, Olga, Mila & Yulia!

Ukrainian refugees – mostly women and children – have fled to small towns across Europe to find peace and safety from the war.  Many of their husbands, fathers and brothers remain in Ukraine to fight. 

These refugees generally land in smaller towns, where supportive services are limited, making this program uniquely positioned to serve those children and families who struggle to find comfort, community and extracurricular activites in their native language.

Our artists know how these families feel as they have also recently been forced to leave their homes in Ukraine, many from the eastern cities such as Mariupol, and many without a home to go back to.  Despite their circumstances, these amazing female artists have found a way to give back.  MSF brought on these artists to organize art sessions that run twice a week for art healing, hosting children ranging from 5-15 years of age. They are using a variety of techniques: relaxation of facial muscles with the help of articulatory gymnastics, as well as reducing anxiety through plasticine (clay) modeling, drawing and painting.

As we enter the third year of this war, we are reminded that BECAUSE OF YOU…. Mountain Seed is reaching more children and families who have endured displacement, trauma, and devastation. The moments you have given to them will change the course of their lives.

 

Art Therapy Mountain seed

Art Therapists

Alina

Alina

Art Therapist

Marina

Marina

Art Therapist

Mila

Mila

Art Therapist

Olga

Olga

Art Therapist

Yulia

Yulia

Art Therapist

Zugairat

Novikova

Art Therapist

Alina

My name is Alina. I’m 41 years old. I’m a self-made artist, constantly learning, obtaining my certification in art therapy, a hairdresser and just a person who knows what it’s like to be cut off from your land 2 times. Born and raised in Donetsk, but forced to leave in 2014 because of the war. Alina moved with her children to Mariupol. In 2022, I was again forced from home and now she lives in Poland.

Alina quickly noticed that there were no resources for children in the small town in Poland, and thankfully she connected with our team!  Having lost her home twice, Alina knows the importance of remembering who you are, where you come from, and Ukrainian roots. She integrates all these lessons into her art classes and lives for the smiles of the children!  She says that there is no greater happiness than the smile of a child, especially children who have seen so much grief.

Mountain Seed Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Donations are tax deductible.

Marina

Meet Marina from Chernivtsi. She has a masters degree in Psychology from Kyiv State Pedagogical Institute named after Gorky (now Drahomanov National University of Applied Sciences), majoring in “Teacher-Researcher in Psychology and Pedagogy”.

In Chernivtsi, she worked as a practicing psychologist in a private firm, which she later headed. Marina now lives in Germany, where she runs art therapy programs for MSF with refugee children from Ukraine. 

Mountain Seed Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Donations are tax deductible.

Mila

My name is Mila. I am a director, artist and art therapist. I was born in Donetsk, but due to the war, I lived in Mariupol since 2014. Now, for the same reason, I live in Germany with my family. Today I am the mother of an eight-year-old daughter. I have devoted more than 15 years of work to interacting with children, after I realized as a student how important careful contact with a child is for every adult.

And I am grateful to the Mountain seed foundation for the opportunity to apply my experience and knowledge with children and adults who have survived the traumatic experience of war, just like I once did. But it is thanks to them that I feel and know how to deal with it!

Mountain Seed Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Donations are tax deductible.

Olga

My name is Olga, I am from Mariupol.  I am a teacher, and before the the war, I worked in a very friendly and creative school from our wonderful city.  Then, torn and confused and generally not fully aware of what was happening, I worked as an art therapist in an Mountain Seed Foundation camp with children and their mothers.  It was a two-way therapy, because then I myself came back to life.  

A little later, with the support of the Foundation, I worked with Yulia in Lithuania.  Now I live with my family in the north of Norway in a small village.  I started conducting art classes here – specializing in plasticine painting.  There are not many Ukrainian children here, so our meetings are extremely important!  Thanks to MSF, children are blossoming, dreaming and laughing together.  During our first meetings, we get to know the material and just have fun again!

Mountain Seed Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Donations are tax deductible.

Yulia

Meet our art therapist and resident child psychologist, Yulia from Mariupol. She has a master’s degree in psychology from the Donetsk Institute of Social Education.  She also graduated from Berdyansk State Pedagogical University with a teaching degree. For about 20 years, she worked as a practicing psychologist in a comprehensive school in the city of Mariupol. She has experience working with children with mental disorders (special educational needs). Since 2017, she has participated in international projects, and cooperated with organizations such as Save the Children and Way to the Dream.

After the occupation of Mariupol, she left Ukraine and moved to Lithuania, where she works as a psychologist in a kindergarten and runs art therapy with children of Ukrainian refugees. Mountain Seed is grateful to have Yulia’s expertise – she has participated in all of our Healing Base Camps and now art therapy classes as well!  Her heart is as big as her talent and she greets everyone she sees with a big smile and positive attitude!  We love Yulia and so do all the kids!!

Mountain Seed Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Donations are tax deductible.

Novikova

Meet Novikova Zugairat, from Mariupol and Avdiivka. She has a Higher education in the specialty of economists, and is working on a second higher education in the specialty “Book illustrator”, artist and art therapist.

While living in Mariupol, she actively participated in the cultural life of the city. She worked as a manager of the Mariupol-Cultural Capital of Ukraine project, was a participant in the Way to the Dream international project, among others.

She has been conducting painting workshops with adults and children for about 10 years.

Now she lives in Austria, and run MSF art therapy programs with Ukrainian children. From time to time I do drawing workshops for adults.

Mountain Seed Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Donations are tax deductible.

Unlocking Hope, One family At A Time

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Healing Base Camp: Planting Seeds Of Hope To Restore What War Has Stolen
As the fight inside Ukraine continues, many families continue to endure the physical and psychological burdens of war. The cost of this war will be realized for generations to come, but WE CAN HELP.