In 2013 and 2014 I traveled to central Ghana to work as an art therapist with the Touch a Life Foundation. TAL rescues vulnerable children from unsafe situations, many of whom have been trafficked into child labor in the fishing industry. TAL is dedicated to providing long term, rehabilitative care to these children. My work as an art therapist with TAL was a powerful experience that reinforced my belief that healing through art is universal.
In 2015 I volunteered with Global Arts Therapy, an American organization that implements community and women's empowerment programs through the arts in different regions of Nepal. In my time with GAT I ran art therapy workshops in rural schools, developed and executed women's empowerment groups through doll-making, and facilitated the creation of a community garden sculpture using recycled materials.
In 2018 I spent one month volunteering in San Ramon, Costa Rica with MUSADE, an organization that promotes women's empowerment and prevents domestic violence in the community. With MUSADE, I ran art therapy workshops for women and children who have lived or continue to live with domestic abuse, and lead group and individual art therapy sessions. The art provided these women with an outlet for their anger and fear, as well as gave them a voice and identity outside of being a survivor of abuse.
During the summer 2014 war with Gaza, the residents of Ruach Nashit women's shelter in Beer Sheba were unable to leave their homes for fear of rocket fire. The children residing at the shelter, who would have normally been playing outside at summer camp, were bored and trapped inside. Through several trips to the shelter during this summer, I ran creative arts healing groups to hep the children cope and keep them busy. They expressed their fears for their safety and desires for regional peace through the art-making process.