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Whatever the question... art and craft form part of the solution...

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

Creative activities are a remarkably useful for improving health and wellbeing, particularly for those feeling isolated.

Moving to a new country can be a very isolating experience. Leaving family, friends and all things that seem normal and comfortable to move to a new country with a different language and a different way of doing everyday things can be a time of great anxiety and have a great impact on a person's self-esteem.

Literature suggests that more often than men, migrant women endure loneliness and segregation in a new country because .... the socio-cultural responsibilities of child-rearing and domestic responsibilities (Rashid & Gregory, 2014; Sin, Choe, Kim, Chae, & Jeon, 2010). These social responsibilities further reduce women’s chances for social interactions and or economic achievements (Kamenou, 2008).

Simply put, migrant women are one of the most vulnerable groups in our community due to:

-daily facing language and cultural barriers

-being isolated in their homes,

-unable to interact and connect with community services,

- more at risk of tolerating family violence

- being less likely to achieve personal financial security

- being more likely to experience ongoing mental health issues, such as loneliness, anxiety and depression with the physical side effects that accompany these conditions.

Art and Craft form part of the solution:

Sister Project began in April 2019, in our local library, with the intention of bringing non-English speaking women out of their homes and together to form relationships, skill-share and spend quality time enjoying doing something fun. We began with spending one hour doing an English lesson and an hour doing a craft lesson.

We now have weekly art/craft and sewing workshops run by highly skilled Sister Project members. The range in activities is hugely diverse varying on the skills and interests of the women in the group. Our exhibition held in the impressive Ellenbrook Art Gallery displayed the vast variety of art and craft our group can present. Everything from beadwork, clay pieces, clothing to paintings was on display.

Participant feedback indicates increased confidence, improved mental health and wellbeing, greater social connectivity, overcoming social isolation and an increase in positive thoughts.

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