TRANSFORMATION: The venture reaches 20 to 30 children weekly.

Arts Writer

THE Butterfly Art Project (BAP) facilitates positive growth in the township of Vrygrond, where poverty and related problems often affect the day to day life of the community. Some of these problems include drugs and other substance abuse, school dropouts, teenage pregnancy, sexual abuse, HIV and AIDS and gangsterism.

Children learn and communicate through pictures and colour, and traumatised kids can find it hard to learn or reach their full potential. BAP has brought art into Vrygrond to encourage the power and healing potential in the arts through a healing art program, partly funded by the National Arts Council.

This art program aims to source each individual child’s process of thinking, capability of learning and attempts to create a positive influence by broadening their horizon of experience, ability to learn and creative or independent thinking.

BAP believes in extending the awareness of each child and allowing them to experience an expanded reality.

Angela Katschke, art therapist and director of the Butterfly Art Project developed the BAP method of art therapy to support children growing up with high trauma levels. It pictures the metamorphosis from a caterpillar to a butterfly. This transformation is translated into therapy for traumatized children.

BAP uses different artistic media such as painting, drawing and modelling to serve each child.

Children are monitored and their progress tested throughout the year, including their emotional stability and physical appearance, to determine their wellbeing.

As such BAP documents the children’s progress and compares them annually to determine the effect of the art program. This healing artistic venture reaches an average of 20 to 30 children weekly.

l www.butterflyartproject.org