Pottery as Therapy

Both the tense political and social situation as well as the still ongoing conflict in the country's eastern part are the reasons why many Ukrainians can only hardly sustain themselves anymore. The socially disaadvantaged are hit very hard and especially for disabled children it is worse than ever before.

Their fate is generally determined by closed facilities and strong medication. Like most of the people suffering from Down's syndrome also autistic children and adults in Kamianets-Podilskyj (Khmelnytskyj) are being held in psychiatric institutions and thereby isolated from society.

This needs to change: Joined by our long-lasting partner Caritas-Spes, we established a pottery and equipped it properly. Children, teenagers and young adults aged 14 to 34 can unfold their creativity. 22 people are "creatively" treated and taught the craft of pottery so that they ensure for themselves a minor but steady income. Additionally, they cultivate a now almost forgotten Ukrainian tradition: the art of pottery is heavily anchored in the country’s folklore, which is on more and more neglected due to the crisis, with negative impacts on the closeness of the people with their country. The project “Pottery as therapy” aims to combine the cultural tradition with strengthening the independence of people in need via training.

Petro Zharkovskyj, pastor and new head of Caritas-Spes, proudly says, “Jointly with the Charity we appreciate to be in the position to help the poorest of the poor. Our mission encompasses to make sure the kids and adolescents have a positive outlook. This area is especially hit by poverty and because it is so close to our heart, it hurts to see it this neglected.”

In line with the Charity’s focus on education, the main emphasis is on supporting people in unfolding their abilities and at the same time establishing a solid foundation for their future.