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Phototherapy for drug addicts

01 July 2013 / 17:07:22  GRReporter
3327 reads

Simona Peneva

"I have been engaged in photography for over a year now and I am no longer the same person," states Solonos Malkas, one of the fifteen participants in the exhibition "Through clear eyes" organized by the centre for social and professional integration OKANA. In need of help and eager to heal his dependence on drugs, Solonas has discovered his passion and has become actively engaged in photography.

His pictures are so realistic that they become alive before the eyes of visitors. Black and white landscapes of Athens, a reflection of balloons in a street puddle, pictures of daily life in the capital are a small part of his works. His enthusiasm and motivation are evident, proving the efficacy of this new therapy. The participant admits that he would like to turn photography into his professional occupation. He is also a member of the club "Like light", which was established in 2001.

Solonas is one of the photographers participating in the exhibition but it also presents handmade jewellery in a variety of colours, decorated with beads in various forms. Photography and jewellery-making are the two activities of the participants in the programme presented at the exhibition. In addition to these, however, the organization OKANA enables people seeking support on their way to curing their dependence on drugs to attend computer or journalism classes.

The specialized centre for social and professional integration OKANA was founded in 2000 and organizes creative workshops for leisure activities as well as vocational training programmes, some of which are subsidized by the state. The people undergoing treatment attend these activities not only during their therapy but also in the phase of their social integration. The lack of professional experience and specialization as consequences of early school leaving are the major reasons for the majority of the problems faced by the members of the treatment programmes.

The main objective of the centre is to fill the gaps in knowledge, develop the professional and social skills of the participants and to support them in their integration, as this is essential for the prevention of the disease. Seventy people are attending the programmes which offer them support and individual consultations to find a job. When they join the organization, they themselves declare their choice of the area that interests them the most and in which they would like to engage in the future. The centre strives to comply with their first choice as much as possible.

The exhibition is intended for people who need therapy and especially businessmen who can invest in the people involved in it and offer them a job. The centre is supported by the European Union too.

Tags: PhotographyTherapry for drug addictsOkanaLandscapes of AthensExhibition
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