In early 2013 we received a message from a lady in Germany. She had a heart for children in Moldova and wanted to support them. However, she didn’t want to let her donation to get into hands of corrupt people.
That’s why she approached BOL, asking us to find an orphanage which has a need. And we found it. Across the street from our Psychological Art Studio, there is a home for children with disabilities. We talked to Victoria, the director of this boarding school. We were surprised when the director didn’t request money for food, clothing or renovation, as usually happens here. Instead, this lady shared with us her dream to have a kiln for their pottery class. And we were happy to help this dream become a reality. But there was a problem: in Moldova, no-one sells pottery equipment!
The closest countries where pottery equipment could be found were Romania and Russia. We approached many of our partners for help in finding and purchasing the pottery equipment we needed. Many people responded, and eventually one man offered his company to buy and transport this equipment from Germany. So finally, after a year, a pottery wheel and kiln were brought to Moldova. The home’s children, director and teachers were all so happy…
It’s very possible that we wouldn’t have shared this story, because it’s not about us. But, a short time later, some of our partners decided to donate two pottery wheels and a big kiln, with many tools and materials, to our Psychological Arts Studio (PAS). It was so unexpected and surprising. We couldn’t afford such expensive equipment ourselves, which is why we didn’t plan to include pottery in our art therapy classes. But we came to understand that God was leading us this way! So we started work on establishing the pottery class in addition to the other two we already ran within PAS.
Our pottery class finally opened in March, to the joy of many. Within a few days, the schedule for the pottery class was full, and we started four new groups. Girls from the ‘House of Change’ rehabilitation center and ‘Dream House’ prevention center became the main participants of this new class, along with teenagers from Church for Tomorrow.
Working with clay can help people who suffer from fear or anxiety to gain a sense of confidence, and help with psycho-emotional calming. In art therapy, natural materials are considered ideal for the transmission of human emotions and experiences, and the process of self-healing. The plasticity of clay allows changes to be made while working on the creation of new forms, thereby improving the emotional state of the creator.
From the very first days in our pottery class, we noticed a good atmosphere and involvement. Girls from House of Change were the first to try the pottery class. It was so interesting to watch them while they were creating a jar from a shapeless piece of clay. Through this example we were better able to explain how God works in people’s hearts and lives. As God created the whole world, so now He creates something beautiful for every person. This type of language is very clear for them.
Olga became a rehabilitee in our House of Change several months ago; she had a deep trauma after sexual exploitation suffered in the past. Before that day, she was very closed and passive. But on that day, she sat down at the pottery wheel and began to work on her own jar. When the jar was almost finished, we saw tears on her face. When we asked what happened, she just said: “I didn’t think I could create something like that. I thought I was good for nothing, but it’s not true… It is so amazing.”
Olga started to talk with me openly, sharing her pain, fears and dreams. I tried for a long time to make my way through her closed-ness, but only after this pottery class did she open up her heart. It was a miracle of creation…
Yulia Ubeyvolk, BOL’ psychologist