A wonderful, colorful display of decorated bottles is one of the first things you’ll notice upon a visit to Shadows of a Child. Each bottle tells a story expressed not in words, but in art. Just as each of us has a unique story to tell, each bottle tells a different tale.

The young women engaged in our transformational program unfortunately have become used to depravity in almost all areas of life. Becoming a mother at an early age, was more like an escalation than the beginning of their hardship. Bottles of Hope is a form of art therapy. Professionals in psychology often use creative art therapy to help patients with PTSD (Post traumatic Stress Disorder), and those who have difficulty expressing themselves verbally successfully use art to overcome painful past experiences.

In the art room, you’ll find the young mums working diligently, each one seemingly unaware of anything going on around them besides the bottle they’ve got in one hand, the stick in another and the tray of assorted colors of paint in front of them. They will work on this bottle for several hours every day. It’s a slow process that takes time and concentration. In the beginning, being strangers to one another, they work in silence. They also work in silence because most of them do not want to speak. For what purpose does it serve, to go on and on about their hardships. Later as friendships begin to form, its delightful to hear their low voices engaged in conversation, then rising in cheerful laughter. The lovely design that emerges is not just work that has been done on a bottle. More important is the work that they have done in themselves. Each bottle is an expression of release of emotional pain, improved skill and creativity, self-assuredness and a sense of purpose. This is what makes their work truly special. It’s an integral part of their journey towards healing and the realization of the prospect of a better life for themselves and their children.