World Refugee Day: The opening of the exhibition of drawings by children who fled from Ukraine to Hungary

Drawings at the Ott Thaly community centre

On the occasion of World Refugee Day, marked on 20 June, Terre des hommes Hungary organised an exhibition opening and guided tour at the Ott Thaly Community Center in Budapest.

The exhibition showcased the drawings of children who participated in workshops organised by Tdh and UNICEF within their Emergency Response programme for children who fled from Ukraine to Hungary. Visitors had the opportunity to view these drawings.

Ott Thaly Community Center, where the exhibition took place, is one of the locations where Tdh and UNICEF teams, consisting of social workers, psychologists, and educators, have been providing assistance to children and their parents arriving from Ukraine to Hungary for over a year.

The pop-up exhibition aimed to provide insight into the children's feelings, experiences, and thoughts through their drawings and paintings. Tdh animators worked with the children for months, conducting two artistic sessions per day, focusing on topics such as safety, their new life situation, superpowers, new friends, school, dreams, and emotions.

In accordance with the principles of child participation, the children themselves decided whether to share their artwork from the workshops and which pieces to share with the public. Before the public opening, the children had the opportunity to view the exhibition in a safe environment, accompanied by their parents and the professionals and animators who worked with them.

One of the creators of the concept, animator Hanna Tillmann, mentioned that many of the children had never been to an exhibition before and had never seen their drawings framed. They wanted to show them that their thoughts, feelings, and their perception of the world are valuable and important, and that it is worth communicating with the outside world.

During the public opening, Írisz Agócs, a children's book illustrator, guided the visitors through the exhibition with thoughtful comments on the artworks. She wrapped the event up with the following thoughts:

"The miracle of creation... is almost always available. Even when the world around us seems to be spinning in the opposite direction, or when it feels unbearable due to sadness, this miracle helps us temporarily step out of this displeasing world, legally and without consequences, with the help of our pencil. We can redraw, correct, and beautify what needs repair and enhancement.

These desired, beautifying, correcting drawings have magical power. They carry us forward, give us strength, and invite good solutions.

These children's drawings give us, adults, a lot of strength to be able to trust and actively do what we can to turn the displeasing reality into a more beautifully coloured world."

Photo credit: Máté Nagy