Being diagnosed with cancer is hard. Regardless of the age,it changes your life forever and everyone reacts differently.
For children, common related emotions include anxiety, fear, uncertainty of the future and sometimes social isolation. In place like Bolivia, where the healthcare system is more precarious, uncertainty is omnipresent. These emotions cause quite some stress which is mostly to be felt during moments of pre and post treatment. But these children also feel stressed due to what it means to have cancer. Indeed, “this is accompanied by forms of grief and mourning about the fact that they have lost their former life-style (before the diagnosis) and a decrease in self-esteem due to the fact they look different.
Through the action of Pintar en Bolivia we want to help these children reduce stress and anxiety. Through the action within the artistic materials we want to offer these children relaxation and distraction. Besides that we offer them the opportunity to express themselves through an activity they can do from the hospital! Art therapy helps these sick children to communicate their hidden emotons and reduces stress and anxiety. It also gives them some time to feel like children again.
About the location
Las Mariposas is a project ran in collaboration with the pediatric oncological department of the Viedma Hospital. Located in the heart of Cochabamba, this state hospital is known to be the poorest, its resources hence being scare and precarious. The hospital has little budget available and the facilities are very limited. Pintar en Bolivia has focused on the pediatric oncology department because the supply is small, while the number of children being treated is high.
OUR SUPPORT TEAM
“My work has an impact on children who spend hours in the hospital, receiving support in the form of distraction (for spending a lot of time in the hospital) or education, although many quit school for various reasons.
I believe I help them bringing them ways to express their emotions more easily but also forget or a moment of pain or worry.
I have chosen this path because it is a way of being thankful for everything we have, but also because receiving the smile or the hug of a child makes everything worthwhile.”
Cima, Member of “Las Damas Voluntarias” and PEB Coordinator for Viedma hospital