Keeping Hope Alive

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painting by Fatima Al Dayat

Polus Center Celebrates 20 years of International Victim Assistance Work

Dark to Light: Conflict, Healing & Hope

A.P.E. Gallery, 126 Main Street, Northampton, Massachusetts. May 15 – 19, 2018

The Polus Center Celebrated it's 20 year anniversary supporting victims of conflict around the world, with an exhibition and benefit events this past May, at the A.P.E. Gallery in downtown Northampton, Massachusetts. 

The Dark to Light exhibition centered on Polus Centers rehabilitation work with Coffee farmers who have experienced landmine related limb loss and war wounded Syrian refugee children who have fled to Jordan in hopes of rehabilitation and recovery.

A Syrian Child's Journey

 

A SYRIAN CHILD'S JOURNEY

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Painting by Ola Lakoud

Since 2013 Polus Center has been providing prosthetics and physical rehabilitation services and support to war wounded Syrian children in Amman, Jordan.  In December of 2015 the "Wings of Peace" program was created in an effort to address the severe psychological trauma experienced, allowing for the best possible chance of recovery. This therapeutic intervention includes both expressive and cognitive therapies allowing gentle and safe work when children are in the early stages of the healing process.  more about this exhibit

 
 

Polus Center for Social & Economic Development is working with some of the Syrian war's most vulnerable victims. Children who have experienced multiple traumas are receiving physical and psychological trauma care through our program at the Sir Bobby Charlton Centre for Support & Rehabilitation in Amman, Jordan. Here they are finding hope again by expressing themselves through art. video: Troy Word

 

From Conflict to Coffee

 

FROM CONFLICT TO COFFEE EXHIBIT

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photo by Stephen Petegorsky

In this collection of photographs by Stephen Petegorsky and paintings by Greg Stone, we  glimpse lives of coffee farmers impacted by landmines in Colombia, Nicaragua, Peru and the Democratic Republic of the Congo -  conflict and post conflict growing regions around the world. In addition, a series of short video clips, from Colombia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, allows farmers themselves to share their hopes, dreams, and the enormous challenges they face. more about this exhibit

 
 

In this short video, coffee Farmer Isaac Wetewabo shares his hopes for the future and his daily struggles in the aftermath of a landmine accident. video: Adrien Nzuzi

 

Benefit Events

 
 

The Benefit events for these programs celebrated hope, resiliency and strength of human spirit. They included afternoon Coffee talks, A Syrian inspired dinner and a Latin style cocktail mixer all generously hosted by the A.P.E. Gallery in Northampton, MA. The events were well attended and featured delicious themed foods by area restaurants including Spoleto, Mosaic Cafe, Pita pocket, and Paul & Elizabeths with outstanding performances of Middle Easten music by Oud player Aliya Cycon and Spanish guitarist Tony Silva. Throughout the week guest speakers Dean Cycon of Dean's Beans, photographer Stephen Petegorsky, and Educational Psychologist Dr. Niveen Abo Zaid, shared with guests their experiences working in Jordan, South America, and The Democratic Republic of Congo with those caught up in conflict and war.  On Thursday and Friday evening a film by Troy Word about the expressive art therapy work Polus Center is doing with injured Syrian children, was included in the program, and featured interviews with several of the young artists who shared their hopes and dreams for the future.

Heartfelt thanks to our sponsors, whose continued support and dedication makes it possible to affect change in the lives of so many people throughout the world.
— Polus Center Team
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