In a time when global conflict and natural disasters are increasing and walls keep getting higher our intention as the stART international team is to do what we can to bring about reconciliation and peace in the world. Often left out of the picture, children are the ones who need special protection and a lot of attention in crisis situations.
Our intention is:
- that people who have lost their home and their hope can recover a sense of security and trust. In pursuance of this we build upon the natural human propensity for fellow-feeling and each person’s inherent potential for self-healing.
- that children are given the chance to grow up in protective communities, so that as adults they may be able to take on responsibility for the future wellbeing of all. We also seek to give children and young people strength of heart, to preserve and cultivate their sense of beauty and goodness, and to awaken their powers of empathy and confidence.
- that young people should have the opportunity to develop their talents so that they may grasp life to the full. For this they need to be able to rely on having a healthy body and mind. Through artistic, educational and therapeutic processes we counter the life-long effects of traumatic experiences thus creating the basis for a positive future.
- that people from widely different backgrounds be able to work together on creating the future. To this end we all need to acquire the necessary inner abilities.
Our vision is of strong and happy people, working together to create a peaceful world.
The stART Impulse
stART is committed to making it possible for people who have undergone great suffering to take hold of their own lives again, and to restoring smiles to the faces of children.
By means of a holistic and educational-therapeutic approach we offer support to children and young people, who have been through the experience of war, of having to flee their homes, of natural and other disasters, and in so doing help them overcome the traumatic effects of these events.
We help build up a social framework which facilitates the strengthening of individual inner resources in a creative way. To be able to deal constructively with challenging situations and conflicts is one of our aims. Thus by artistic means we perform peace work in the service of common humanity and social change.
stART works in an interdisciplinary way in the following areas:
- directly with child or teenage victims of traumatic situations, using an approach with artistic, educational and therapeutic aspects
- training and further training of people who either work with child victims of disasters or with children in very challenging circumstances.
- projects in social art and community healing done in the interests (interest) of social progress.
All branches of stART’s organisation (board, management, team leadership and teams) take an artistic approach to their work.
This is the defining characteristic of all the social processes involved in our work. Through this particular approach of ours, we all share in being creative and through this, discover new forms of expression. We are the living expression of a creative, artistic attitude, which features perceptual openness, flexibility and a situational approach to action.
The actual work with children is characterised by a blending of various artistic disciplines – for instance, fine art (painting, sculpture), performing art (theatre, puppet plays), movement, handwork and handcrafts, rhythm and music.
We employ all these art forms out of our deep sense of their artistic, educational and therapeutic value. We strive to create a safe space where the people we are working with can feel at ease in a warm atmosphere with a potential for creativity.
Working as a team means that the talents and skills of artists, teachers and therapists can combine to create something new and powerful. Ideas can thus come from many directions: “Knock, and listen for what has been opened to you” is the guiding principle of our relationships among ourselves and with others.
stART team-members come from a variety of countries and cultures, and what binds them together is the enthusiasm they all share. They relate to one another in a spirit of mutual acceptance and respect.
They learn from each other through a lively exchange of knowledge and experience.
The bases for this team spirit are transparency, reliability and commitment.
Through preparatory briefings and feedback discussions the executive and operation leaders ensure that there is a positive working atmosphere based on trust.
Contacts with national and international networks, training institutes, local authorities, as well as with kindred organisations are usually managed by the executive. However, sometimes such liaison work can also be delegated to individual co-workers.
We publicise our work in a variety of ways, for instance, through lectures, social media, our own website or in printed publications.
The aim is to put our shared stART-vision out into the world, and to widen the circle of support for our work through reaching people who feel as we do.
The stART team, October, 2021