Art and Theatre for Therapy and Building Connections

Earlier in the year during Allies’ first visit to the Shovgenovskiy orphanage, a group of volunteers from Krasdnodar planned a theatrical performance entitled “Panchinello.” 

The story celebrates how each person is different and has different talents, and how you don’t need to compare yourself with others. It teaches, instead, to develop your own talents.

The performance was a big hit, and was a very unique experience for the children since they don’t make it out of the orphanage much, especially visits to the theatre.  What also made it unique was the volunteers invited the children to participate in the play and be an actor or actress. 

The children especially loved this. They were given costumes, reading their lines, and they tried to do the actor’s process and were able to showcase their talents. Many said they never had an opportunity to act like this, and were really grateful. 

The arts is an especially powerful way to reach and touch children with difficult backgrounds. Many organizations use this as a form of therapy, whether it’s painting, drawing, or in this case, acting. The ability to escape reality for a while, only to come back to and process it with fresh eyes—perhaps through the guise of characters—helps in the healing processes. 

One of the day’s volunteers, Margarita, has partnered with Allies in the work with orphans. She had been giving to these orphans both financially and with her time for many years prior to meeting Allies. Margarita’s compassion led her to adopt a nine-year-old boy many years ago, and though this was not smooth-sailing in the beginning, especially with his studies, she persevered because she wanted her son to have responsibility and aspirations.

Her son has now graduated with excellent marks and is now studying at a military college to become an officer. She says she’s always happy and is very joyful participating in volunteer work because she sees the impact it makes on each and every child. Margarita continues to help Allies by bringing clothes and books, as well as spending time with the children. 

Like Margarita, you can also help these children by volunteering. Check out how you can volunteer here.