Refugio is a counseling and treatment center for traumatized refugees and victims of torture and is one of the largest psychosocial treatment centers of its kind in Germany. In addition to psychological and social counseling, Refugio offers art therapy groups (in schools) and art workshop groups (in shared accommodations) for refugee children and youths. Refugio München will use this year's donation for a group at the St. Anna primary school at Odeonsplatz in Munich.
Participants express their traumatic experiences and their life in exile through art in the creative groups (painting, music, media, dance and theater). Art therapy creates a safe place where children are allowed to display their fears, conflicts and sadness. For example, they can process and overcome various situations through creative play, painting and working with wood and clay. In the groups, the kids learn recognition and appreciation and gain trust in their own capabilities. These are core skills that they will eventually use in school and society.
Since there is no regular funding on the local level and no government financing, the annual costs for art therapy groups in schools must be covered by private donations, contributions from foundations and fines.