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Arriving. My stage in a shoe-box

Project title

Ankommen. Meine Bühne im Schuhkarton: Прибуття.

Description of initiative

Puppetry in designing and performing. Young Ukrainian refugee pupils of two classes were given the possibility to create and build a personal or visional place. They designed a shoe-box with free choose out of many materials and colors. There was no right or false. Children were completely free in creating. They got help in realizing own ideas. Followed by the creating of small rod-puppets and with use of small finds little scenes were performed. This helped to gather the individual and collective emotions and visions. The children could close the box with a lid and take it away. It was an act of re-orientation, arriving and safe space. They laughed and were proud. It had prophylactic effects against posttraumatic disorders.

Further information on the initiative

Themes: Culture and...

Individual well-being
Community well-being
Mental health


puppetry, trauma integration, mental health, agency, well-being, holistic approach, expressive art

Target group


Cultural field





2022 - 2022

Sources of funding

School administration

Results, benefits, impact and lessons learnt

About 50 Ukrainian refugee pupils, age 6-10, participated in the initiative. Effects of safe space, self-efficacy, creative expression, transforming of traumatic impressions, embodiment, new social contacts were observed. Laughter after catastrophe heals body and mind. Puppets create distance and control and strong identification.
This self-created safe space was important because they left their home as a traumatic experience. This symbolic action gives agency back and helps to create new images and experiences.
This project was offered directly to the school and they gladly accepted and offered a classroom. The project went over three weeks, three double lessons for each of the pupil, and the organizer worked with groups of 15 children with support of a social worker and the teacher.


Union Internationale de la Marionnette
NGO / Non-profit | Culture


Grundschule Glaucha, Halle/ Saale, Germany
Public / State | Other