Welcome to Art Relief International
Art Relief International works to transform the lives of struggling social groups in Chiang Mai, Thailand by offering them the opportunity to express themselves through an artistic lens.
Art changes lives. It is both a powerful means of expression and a recognized means of therapy – two things that are vital in the lives of ARI participants. ARI works to cultivate creativity, create an atmosphere of inclusion for groups that are often cast out and ignored, and encourage social change.
Our volunteer-based organization relies on dedicated and open-minded individuals looking to make a creative difference in the world. This unique opportunity to volunteer in Thailand rewards both volunteers and ARI program participants alike.
Art Relief International Volunteer Blog
Hanging Flower Chains With Our Elderly Friends
"It was great for me to get out of my work bubble and experience a Thai community I mightn't have had the chance to meet."
On September 23rd, 2016, ARI visited the elderly at the care center in Chiang Mai called Baan Thammapakorn. We wanted to show them our respect for Thai traditions while creating something meaningful and positive with them. So, we brought a crafty way of creating "puong ma lai"--the traditional hanging flower chains that can be seen throughout Thailand. They are used in the home, the yard, businesses, temples, etc. to bring good spirits to the place. We wanted our elderly friends to make something positive and filled with prayer to give to someone or to keep for themselves. The group actually liked the way their flower chains turned out so much that they offered them to Buddha in prayer time at the center!
Some techniques for the craft were a little hard for the elderly hands! But that was all right, we luckily had a guest volunteer to help ARI give proper attention…