Art that heals

On every mission, an art team joins the medical and support staff. Why?
Art heals individuals and communities.




Medicine and art make a powerful team.

While one heals the body, the other lifts the soul. It’s a magical combination. In 1996, Medical Missions Foundation founders Drs. Tony and Luz Racela had a dream to harness this magic in order to make a difference in the lives of the poor and disadvantaged children of the world.

Whether painting colorful murals in orphanages or making paper flowers with children awaiting surgery, artists have become an integral part of the mission experience. We use the power of music and movement to encourage burn patients to stretch and move.

Art reduces the burden of illness and suffering. Art gives us hope, inspires dreams and informs our view of the world. Art bridges differences – connecting people of different backgrounds and experience. Art is the global language.

Medical Missions Foundation is the only international agency that always takes an art team. The art team connects with the adults and the children on a powerful, personal level. Burn patients learn to move painful limbs and lungs; children who have been traumatized by war and abuse learn to laugh and smile, and life-long friendships and memories are forged. Medical Missions Foundation uses activities like the art program to build lasting bridges to peace.

Edimon’s Story

An adorable little two year old boy, was kidnapped from his home in Lacor, Northern Uganda to be killed during a religious sacrifice. Acid was poured over the baby’s head, and he was cut in multiple places on his body. Edimon’s largest scar exists on his stomach where a knife began to intrude his belly, just as he was found and saved.

When I first interacted with Edimon, he was quiet and had a solemn look on his little face. But, as I experimented with different art activities, in just hours he transformed from throwing crayons off his bed to sitting and coloring practically using every color of the rainbow.

Edimon made a huge impact on all of the volunteers who visited with him, and we hope that our time with him has made a positive impact on his recovery. For Edimon, coloring was not about drawing a picture, but rebuilding trust and helping him work through some of the emotions he was experiencing.


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