Our Healing Journey
We started using clay as a tool to raise funds and empower people but six years into the project, the team behind Light From Africa Foundation began taking a deeper look into the healing attributes of working with clay.
What began with a few creative clay play sessions in our studio at ART in the FOREST led us on a journey to research clay therapy. We then reached out and partnered with charities in Cape Town and Johannesburg who were in need of regular psychosocial support. We looked at the multiple traumas that the vulnerable children supported by our partner charities face with a focus on the illness and death of parents, violence and exploitation, stigma and discrimination, isolation and loneliness, and lack of adult support and guidance. With the help of psychologists, art therapists, expressive arts facilitators, life coaches and art teachers, we developed a portfolio of therapeutic programmes using clay to address these traumas. From the beginning, our vision was to support both children and adult care workers from our partner charities with free programmes throughout the year.
All of Light From Africa Foundation’s therapeutic clay programmes are regular and ongoing. We aim to build the external and internal resources of our participants to help them cope with adversity whilst developing important life skills. In addition, we endeavour to develop resilience, create a nurturing and safe space, encourage creativity to explore feelings and give the participants an opportunity to see themselves as valuable and worthwhile. We aspire to deliver programmes that are culturally sensitive, collaborative, gender responsive, age-specific and inclusive whilst remaining to be informed by continuous learning.
Some of the Defined Outcomes of our programmes
- The knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and tools to build self-esteem
- To feel supported and connected
- An increase of self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-love
- Increased knowledge around being a whole human being – mind, body and soul
- Permission to view oneself as valuable and worthwhile – “I matter”
- Increased levels of creativity to enable feelings to be effectively expressed
- Develop creative skills to produce beautiful clay art works to be kept and treasured
- Improved performance in the workplace/ school
Read more about our Partner Charities here
Why Clay is so Effective
1) Using clay in therapy taps into the most fundamental of human experiences – touch.
2) The action of the hands combined with sensory perception can lead to a profound sense of resolution.
3) It has been proven that working with clay has lasting therapeutic benefits.
4) Working with Clay supersedes language barriers.
5) Clay allows for reflection of construction and deconstruction processes.
6) Pottery in Africa dates back to the 7th millennium BC and remains an important part of our culture today.
7) Clay arouses deep layers of feelings, enabling expression of experiences that otherwise remain buried.
8) Clay activities are an excellent way of increasing enjoyment and boosting motivation.
9) Pottery studios already exist all around SA including rural areas where psychosocial support is rare.
10) SA has hundreds of highly skilled potters who need extra income and who can be trained to deliver our workshops.