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14 Jun, 2021

The Meghu Project, Alumni Create an Activity Book for Children

2 min read

The Meghu Project is a psycho-playful activity book intended primarily for children from Armenia and Artsakh aged 6 to 13, impacted by the war in October 2020. The Meghu Project was imagined and designed by clinical psychologist Anouch Chahbenderian and co-created with illustrator Maïda Chavak, who both are Birthright Armenia program alums. This project is fully funded by the french NGO Yerkir.

The History

Maïda and Anouch met in 2006 in Artsakh each on a mission with DA-Connexion, Anouch in Talish and Maïda in Karmir Shuka. They stayed in touch and met in October 2021 in Yerevan. Maïda then voluntarily animated manual activities for refugee children and Anouch came to assess the needs in the treatment of psychological trauma in children.

The Book

The activity book's text and instructions directly address its subject, the child, who identifies as a witness of the war, in proximity to the war or impacted by the war. A playful and poetic approach aims to support thought processes and the expression of emotions in a societal and family context of unspoken and low interaction with children.

While its form is adapted to peak a child's interests, the activity book is based on the principle of reality, where the intentional use of the word "war" extracts expression of the upheavals that conflict can cause in adults and children alike. This posture immediately gives credit and a form of recognition to unusual emotions the child may be feeling: anxiety, fear, grief. The goal is to create an opportunity to exchange openly on their emotions and incite expression and speech. The child can then use the activity book as a "talking stick", to share these emotions with their loved ones, should they wish.

The activity book encourages representation through imagination, creativity and play, but also by the processing of information and the ability to project and set goals through sufficient emotional control.

For more information, to receive notebooks or to share your feedback, you may contact The Meghu Project at the following address:

This project is fully funded by French NGO Yerkir

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