Dana is a 13 year-old young girl with huge potential, a passion for life and a loving family. However, things for Dana were not always so bright and happy. Dana lives in Moldova where Beginning of Life serves vulnerable young people. Their programmes aim to build self-worth in young Moldovans to help protect them from the risk of human trafficking and exploitation.
The Beginning of Life team met Dana during one of their promotional presentations of their Psychological Art Studio. At the end of our presentation, with very sad eyes and a quiet voice, Dana asked to be enrolled in the handicrafting classes, as she enjoyed making things with her hands.
'‘My family is going through a divorce…’' were Dana’s words during the first consultation. This was having an impact on her ability to find joy and interest in living a full, happy young life. Dana lived with her mother and grandmother and they were all going through pain and difficulties. For several months in a row, Dana felt the same, although she was regularly attending art therapy classes and psychological consultations.
The other teenagers in Dana’s handicrafting group were very different to her, much more open and less afraid to interact with each other and to have fun. Dana always exercised limited emotions and passion and said very few words of happiness. Hugging her classmates was unusual for her, as though she had never learned to hug.
The Beginning of Life team worked hard to understand Dana’s trauma and to discover the best ways to heal her broken heart. Art is one of the most amazing tools for healing and Beginning of Life’s Psychological Art Studio has helped so many vulnerable people to solve their inner problems through painting and handicrafting. Dana was still fighting, and it wasn’t easy for her, but step-by-step, after almost half a year, she began to change.
It was on a lovely warm sunny day that the handicrafting group decided to take their class outside into nature when suddenly Dana was very positive, happy and full of life. The team were shocked to see how she quickly became actively involved in discussions, sharing her opinions and listening to others – things she never normally did. This was when it was clear that the chain of pain, remorse and fear had finally broken, and Dana became free, open to building a healthy, positive character. From that point on, the team began to spend more positive time with Dana. They learned more about her family, her relationship with her mother and grandmother. Through art-therapy and support from the team, she was able to find hope and healing in the midst of her pain.
Dana is an example of the radical change that can come about through the work of Beginning of Life. Healing a broken heart and inspiring motivation and a passion for living requires years of work and practice. One year on, Dana is more joyful, she is very creative, loves to draw and paint and enjoys creating beautiful things with her own hands while dreaming of a safe, happy future for her and her family.