This article was originally published in the Winter 2014 edition of Healing, CURE’s quarterly newsletter. You can download and read the entire newsletter on our Publications page.
Osirou, age 11, came to CURE Niger with burn contractures on his arm and torso which will take multiple surgeries to correct. He lives here in Niamey, so he comes in regularly for dressing changes. When Osirou first started coming to art therapy sessions, he was very easily startled and seemed apprehensive about every little move he made. It was clear to see that life gave him few opportunities to be a kid. Initially, he drew with very small and faint strokes, using few colors. I wanted him to come out of his shell, but I knew it would take time. Gradually, he started using more colors and asking for larger pieces of paper. After several sessions, he began creating huge swirls and spirals and zigzags of bright colors that filled the entire page. His motions became more fast- paced, and his body language and demeanor spoke volumes.