Shari's story

Do you remember how much it hurt when you or one of your children were left out, not invited to a party or ignored at breaktime? Do you remember the sadness you felt, the confusion as to why you hadn’t been invited, the feeling of isolation that you felt and the helplessness? The children who benefit from Misholim, an expressive arts therapy centre in Jerusalem, feel this isolation every day. Misholim is a small charity in Jerusalem that helps children who are struggling to communicate and can’t form positive relationships with their peers or family. Misholim offers them alternative ways to communicate using art, music, dance or drama. The art therapies allow them to find new pathways to deal with the problem that led to their communication issues; divorce, abuse, bullying, trauma and the other effects of war.Misholim teach the children to understand that they can’t change the past but they can learn to understand it, deal with it and change their current behaviour. They work with the whole family, offering support and education to the parents as their child attends the therapy.Shari was born with cerebral palsy. She was able to attend school and speak but it was obvious to all who met her that she was different. The children at school bullied her; at lunchtime they would put crumbs in her hair, in class they lifted up her skirt, at break they wouldn’t play with her. She felt isolated and different but was unable to communicate how she was feeling to anyone, so she withdrew into herself. Her mother didn’t know what to do, they couldn’t afford to pay for the support that Shari obviously needed. Her mother then found Misholim. Shari attended for two years and was helped to express herself so that she could feel valued again. Her talents, strengths and potential could now be expressed and even reached. She is now happily married and she credits Misholim completely with enabling her to find the path to leading a happy life.  

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