Published by Julie Korn
What Christ-like and child-like look like
Dr. Stefano didn’t spend that much time in the art therapy room. Maybe a total of 20 minutes. But it meant so much to the children. Where else do doctors get down on the floor to play and draw with their patients? That is what I love about CURE, and what I love about the people I get to work with.
Healing through henna
It was Rashida’s first session with me in the art therapy room, and she was very reserved and quiet. I told her I thought her hands looked pretty and she suddenly changed. She was very excited and said, “I do henna! Do you want me to do it for you one day?” I said yes. Rashida lives in Niamey and so she isn’t staying at the hospital, but comes in a couple of times a week for dressing changes. She said, “I’ll come sometime and bring the supplies!”
From scribbles and circles to a healed perspective
Omarou is a 6-year-old boy who has been coming in for treatment over the course of the past year. One day, he stood too close to the pot of food his mother was cooking and his shirt caught on fire. He was burned so badly on his torso and legs that the skin fused together, causing him to be unable to stand up straight.
You are precious, honored, and loved
As mothers, we have one of the most challenging jobs in the world, and we don’t always get the support and encouragement we need. But when we do receive that encouragement, we have a renewed strength and a clearer outlook on our situations. We are better able to care for our children.
Women’s Day at CURE Niger
Last week we celebrated Nigerian Women’s Day at the hospital. Every year, the women at the hospital collect money and pick out a pagne (a colorful piece of material) in the market a few weeks before Women’s Day. They buy a pagne for every staff member and everyone takes it and has an outfit made with the material. It is always so exciting to see everyone’s creativity and personality shine through the different designs. It really brings home the message that we are all cut from the same cloth, but all cut differently. A wonderful expression of solidarity and sisterhood, without sacrificing any individual sense of identity (or style!).
Where art therapy and a mortar and pestle meet
In order to help determine the emotional state of a child, art therapists often use what is called the House-Tree-Person test. The child is asked to draw a house, a tree, and a person, and then asked questions about their drawings. The thinking behind this test is that everyone can easily draw a house, a tree and a person, since everyone encounters houses and trees and people every day, even children.
Finding his own confidence
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.
Expressing homesickness through art
Mamou is a 9-year-old girl with severe burns on her legs. She has been at the hospital for the last couple of months to receive a series of skin grafts. Mamou is very easygoing and loves to come for art therapy sessions. Since the beginning of her time here, she has been enthusiastic about doing art. She works very well with her peers and takes on a leadership role with the younger ones.
Rahila is tough. She is so tough that her crippled feet did not keep her from walking. It just meant she had to find a new, creative way to walk. Her feet were so overextended that she was forced to walk on the tops of her feet. It was a struggle and it was painful, but she did it for years and years.
Josh & Julie Korn: Christmas at CURE Niger
For Christmas I wanted to do a group activity with all the kids at the hospital. We gathered all the kids together, told them the Christmas story, and explained that Christmas is the reason that we are going to have a big party at the hospital in a few days.