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A new hope!

Kim Tompkins
- 2007-Oct-2 -
handicraft

The volunteers from Child Outreach Partnership Initiative Inc., work together with the Romanian staff towards improving the lives of the children living in orphanages and placement centres still run by the Romanian government.

Child Outreach Partnership Initiative, Inc is a non-profit organization dedicated to the use of art in the process of passing over the isolation of children who live in state orphanages from Romania. This kind of therapists usually work together with the volunteers from outside the respective institution in order to help them in the coordination of the activities based on art, either with each one in particular, or with groups. Thus, the volunteers tide relations with the children, assist the creative personal capabilities of each one and begin to personally observe how they can bring a positive long lasting change to a human being, the future of which did not forecast any hope.

The basis of the group was set by Kim Tompkins, during her stay in Romania in Bistrita as a volunteer of “Peace Corps” from the United States. Kim came to Romania to teach English to some students from a secondary school. During these classes, at conversation hours, she noticed that there are youths willing to talk about the problems their country is confronting with. Starting with these discussions, an idea was born – to act and address some of these problems, – more precisely the difficult situation of the abandoned children living in the community Orphanage. Kim felt that by giving the students the chance to directly work with the children, the leading instinct and the self assurance would increase, by arriving to feel themselves as positive changing tools in Romania.

Beside the weekly visits to the Orphanage, the group visited two summer camps, where the members of the group conducted during a week the values through arts and sports activities together with the children from the Orphanage, at the beautiful lake from Colibita in Birgau Valley. In 1998, Kim went back to U.S.A. but she remained in contact with many of her students that took part of that camp. Thus she found out that many of these students thenceforth visited the institutionalized children and that their involvement in that camp had a benefic and long term impact, even during the academic years. In 2001, Kim decides to restart the project and officially created “Child Outreach Partnership Initiative, Inc” in order to organize summer camps benefic both for institutionalized children as well as for youths that take care of them as volunteers.

The purpose was to sustain the relations between these children and the other youths from the community, having the idea to develop a strong sense of responsibility with the help of an experience full of satisfactions. Also, the purpose of the organization was that to educate the personnel from the institutions in the domain of alternative methods in working with children.

Hearing about the remarkable success of the expressive therapies on the people from the special schools and orphanages from Romania, the camps begun to be definitely based on art therapy. Last summer, IMPART team joined the C.O.P.I.I. organization, after two our delegations were at their conferences in Bacau. IMPART came at the Costinesti camp and developed activities right on the beach. The high school volunteers participated at the meetings together with the personnel of the institutions and everybody was impressed by the effect of these activities on the children. Art, music, dance and theatre offered a way to communicate among the isolated groups and the rest of the participants. The communication bonds are possible through art, even when words do not succeed it. Only on the moment of the bond the participants begun to see the humane element in each child and even within themselves.

In November 2003, IMPART team travelled at the special school in Beclean and held a course of one week on art therapy for the same personnel that participated at the C.O.P.I.I. camp that summer. The course was received with a lot of enthusiasm. We are waiting for more results after this summer camp where the same teachers, now trained by IMPART in art therapy techniques, could directly help in activities and guide a new series of young volunteers from Beclean. The camp will be held with the help of “Life Program” in Targu-Jiu where the volunteers will deeply evaluate their role in the life of these children as well as their role as future leaders.

With the help of IMPART, we hope to educate them in what means art therapy, to understand its purpose and to obtain the inestimable friendship of the children from Beclean.

Kim Tompkins, President of the Association Child Outreach Partnership Initiative, Inc. 28 Turkey Shore Rd. Ipswich, MA 01938 USA Tel.: (+1 978) 312-1125



(November 2003)


Kim and Ioana

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adele ball
I work with an organization in Honduras which focuses on empowering children and improving their well-being. I am trying to set up an art therapy program in an orphanage here and would welcome any pointers on successful projects, general tips, what not to do, and useful ideas on camp programs. Sounds like a lot but any feedback is welcome! keep the good work, it seems like an awesome program. adele


corlade maria
Este interesant ceea ce faceti si as dori chiar sa intru si eu in program.Este posibil acest lucru daca sunt din Bacau?MARIA CORLADE,41 ani.


Daniel Hristea
I have met the volunteers from Child Outreach Partnership before and I was very impressed with their work. Keep up the good work, my friends, and I hope to see you again! Daniel


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Barbu Dana
Buna ziua, sunt kinetoterapeut la CSEI brasov si as dori sa stiu cum pot intra in posesia acestei carti. Va multumesc anticipat. Cu stima Dana Barbu

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