Volunteering Expressive Arts Nepal

Dear Friends,

I didn't know that Nepal has one of the highest poverty rates across the globe? In the past, whenever I thought of Nepal, I always thought of the culture, the art, the beautiful and friendly people. But as with every culture, there is an underbelly that is in need of healing.

"Nepal is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude.  NGOs estimate that 10,000 to 15,000 Nepali women and girls are trafficked to India annually, while 7,500 children are trafficked domestically for commercial sexual exploitation."  - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009

From Oct. 26 -Nov. 5, I will be donating my time at the non-profit Expressive Arts Institute Nepal in Kathmandu (see below), assisting in the training of Nepali expressive arts therapists. I have been  asked to fill the position of Practicum Supervisor for students designing and facilitating an intensive workshop for the Shanti Foundation's Safe House where women survivors of sex trafficing who have been diagnosed with AIDS live. 

I have to raise $3,600 by mid October. These funds will cover travel costs, art materials, educational resources, and assist in the payment of the Institute's costs of renting space to hold the training and translator costs.

Dear friends, this work is my vocation and political action. I believe that through the arts we can find peace within ourselves and heal the rifts of the world. Will you please help me to bring this good work to Nepal?

My work in expressive arts facilitation is oriented towards the life affirming and healing qualities of creative expression. I use what is called a multi-modal approach where all of the arts; visual art making, movement, poetry, music and drama are employed. The process of making art furthers a person’s ability to know themself, communicate, connect with their community and heal. 

What I will offer to the students at Expressive Arts Institute Nepal is guidance on how to use their training to foster an atmosphere of acceptance and safety which allows the client to enter the unknown and explore all aspects of their expression. In helping the students to design and facilitate an experience where a person’s expressions are not judged or evaluated by institutional ideas of what wellness looks like, they will be able to help their clients find resiliency, identify their strengths, and increase their capacity to experience hope and joy.

Expressive Arts Institute Nepal is a non–profit and non–government organization established in 2015, with the mission to provide Nepali people with education, professional training, and practicum opportunities in Expressive Arts Therapy and therapeutic practice. EXA Nepal’s main areas of concern are the care of people and communities suffering from trauma, violence, grief, loss, illness, and unfathomable suffering in such circumstances as war, genocide, human trafficking, and natural disasters. In addition, Expressive Arts Institute Nepal also targets leaders and organizations that work to serve public good such as school teachers and administrators, social workers, medical and health professionals and community care organizations.


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Topaz Weis 
Burlington, VT
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