WATCH | How these kids are doodling their way to metamorphosis

Who knew the power of a crayon and piece of paper? A child’s scribbles can have an immense effect on wellbeing – especially for vulnerable kids.

In the community of Vrygrond, Cape Town, children out of school are often unsupervised by parents and guardians. Left to roam the streets, they are at risk of being exposed to substance abuse and violence.

“The impact on their mental health is devastating,” Faika Green says. As a facilitator at the Butterfly Art Project, she is guiding kids away from this fate and healing them from trauma.

“The Butterfly Art Project is an initiative that uplifts disadvantaged youth by unlocking their creativity,” Green says. From a centre based in Vrygrond, they provide structure and rhythm to the daily lives of children.

“Creativity offers them a form of therapy and a safe space to develop their resilience,” she says.

Whether it be in painting, dress-up, or sewing, creative expression can bolster children’s self-esteem, release emotions, and give them the freedom to play.

In the Love Bugs programme, Green works with kids who cannot attend school, usually as a result of not having birth certificates, to grow their social and emotional skills.

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“Art is not just an outlet, but a tool for individual and social change,” Green says.

The programme has empowered children and their guardians to retrieve the documentation needed to receive a formal education.

In 2021, the Butterfly Art Project supported 20 kids to enrol in school and change the course of their lives.

Creating a space of security and belonging, Green and her team are transforming the future of kids in Vrygrond.

“Through art, children facing extreme hardship can flourish,” she says