In November, 2013, the clients at The Recovery House were introduced to a new unit, ‘Sound Therapy,’ conducted by Mr Faisal Akram Gill. Our clients have since organized and held two musical performance cum concert nights – once for the staff members of TRH, and once for their family members on New Year ’s Eve. The response the sound therapy unit has received since has been phenomenal, and our clients are taking strides towards recovery, via self-expression and skill development. We have even purchased a tabla, a keyboard a guitar since, so that our clients can play the instruments at their leisure!
In February 2014, Syed Suleman, a student at NED University, started conducting photography lessons with our clients, as part of a newly introduced ‘visual arts’ unit.Suleman is a brilliant teacher who lets each of his students use his camera and show him things from their perspective. He also aims to encourage clients to see positive sides to everything and to teach them to capture a moment perfectly. Each of our clients’ masterpieces are saved to be showcased later!
Our clients attended the Annual Flower Show, organized by the Horticultural Society of Pakistan, on March 1st, as part of their regular outings. Interestingly, this outing of theirs incorporated learning with entertainment, as they not only learned more about the plants and observed them, they also got the chance to photograph them for their ‘visual arts’ unit!
In March,The Recovery House brought on board two new interns. MsDur-re-Sameen Hashmi (Masters in Mental Health, Kings College London) joins TRH as a co-facilitator for creative writing, expressive arts, cooking, and yoga. She will also be looking into quality assurance for the units conducted at our premises. Ms Sara Khatri (Art as Therapy practitioner, Psychology major), an aspiring psychologist, also joined our team as a facilitator of the vocal therapy unit at TRH, as she is trained in classical singing and hopes for the clients to feel more liberated when they voice themselves.
On April 2nd, our clients visited AmanTech (Aman Foundation’s Vocational & Technical Training Unit) in an interactive session organized by the management. Our clients not only enjoyed the visit thoroughly, they also found it to be extremely interesting and educational. Most clients found the sound-activated electrical unit to be most fascinating, and were mentored in vocational training by the staff at AmanTech. As part of vocational training, the clients also visited Hunar Foundation on April 7th, and loved to see the different vocations Hunar Foundation had to offer. They finished off the visit with a cricket match in their massive field!
In April, The Recovery House also introduced a unit on ‘Eco-Therapy’ to its clients – a gardening-based activity aiming to make clients more observant of nature though meditative sessions in which they are made to relax and listen to sounds, feel textures and concentrate on smells in a garden. Gradually, their mind-body coordination will be improved by engaging them in different garden jobs like weeding, re-potting, pruning, sowing seeds, watering, etc. Introducing the clients to, and using, aromatic herbs will bring mental peace to clients; with which they can make a variety of teas. The instructors, Zahra Ali and Yasir Husain from Crops in Pots, hope to convert the smoking area into a Chai Khana (Tea House) eventually.In this unit,the clients will be encouraged to work in groups and teach each other, exchange their harvests or simply sit together and plan what to cook. Zahra and Yasir will also help clients in maintaining a photo blog, to keep a record of activities and their progress.