Kolcio Receives Grant from the United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme


Katja Kolcio, affiliate professor dance, leads a somatic strategies workshop in Lviv, Ukraine, in June 2015.

Katja Kolcio, director of the Allbritton Heart, affiliate professor of dance, acquired a $64,745 grant from the United Nations Restoration and Peacebuilding Programme (UN RPP) this month to guage the affect of somatic strategies on psycho-social wellness within the context of the armed battle in Donbas, Ukraine.

“Somatic strategies, that are the idea of this undertaking, are movement-based strategies that hone body-mind connection within the curiosity of selling self-awareness and wellness,” Kolcio defined.

The Vitality Donobas Challenge is a collaboration between Kolcio and the Growth Basis (DF), an NGO devoted to psycho-social aid, shaped in Ukraine in the course of the Maidan Revolution. In the midst of six months, this undertaking will immediately have interaction over 1,500 contributors in Donbas by way of a mixture of digital on-line and protected in-person programming.

The second and third photos were taken in Dnipro, Ukraine, August 2019, by Vitality Project, photographer Vitali Kharechko.

Kolcio teaches somatic workouts in Dnipro, Ukraine, August 2019. (Photograph by Vitali Kharechko)

The undertaking is exclusive in three respects, Kolcio stated. First, the somatic program being carried out is context-specific. It was developed by Kolcio in collaboration along with her Ukrainian companions over the course of 5 years of working immediately in Ukraine. Second, the somatic method is holistic, that means particular person and social (household and neighborhood) well being are conceived as integrally linked and concurrently addressed. Lastly, the work might be evaluated for its affect as referring to each the person and social sphere.

“This method, which connects particular person wellness to the broader social world, is meant to attract consideration to the position that collective and intergenerational trauma can have on particular person well being and, in flip, on civic vitality and engagement,” she stated.

The undertaking group will work with Wesleyan’s Quantitative Evaluation Heart (QAC), with the advisement of director Jennifer Rose, and can enlist the assistance of analysis assistants from the QAC and Dance Division. This grant will make it doable to disseminate and systematically consider the consequences of somatic strategies over time in a context of political unrest, violent battle, and a world pandemic.

This undertaking is a end result of labor that Kolcio and NGO Growth Basis founders Marta Pyvovarenko and Vitali Kharechko have developed over the previous 5 years working with aid employees, internally displaced individuals, veterans, and troopers throughout Ukraine.  Applications in somatic strategies have already been carried out in Kyiv, Lviv, Zaporizhya, Lutsk, and Dnipro, and in collaboration with Zaporizhzhia Nationwide College, Lesya Ukrainka Jap European Nationwide College, G.S. Kostiuk Institute of Psychology of the Nationwide Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine, and the Nationwide Guard of Ukraine.

Kolcio’s applications in partnership with the DF have beforehand acquired assist from humanitarian organizations in Ukraine and overseas, together with N-DSA-N (Italy), Tragedy Help Program For Survivors (USA), Wounded Warriors Challenge, Blind Veterans (USA), Ukrainian-American Reduction Committee (USA), the Growth Basis for Well being Cluster and Safety Cluster (Ukraine), and World Well being Group Workplace Ukraine.

In March 2020, Kolcio and Pyvovarenko offered their findings to the U.S. Congressional Ukrainian Caucus and Senate Ukraine Caucus within the Capitol Constructing in Washington, D.C. Their present undertaking is endorsed by the lately shaped Ministry of Veteran Affairs in Ukraine.

As a dance artist and somatic educator, Kolcio, who has a PhD in somatics from Ohio State College, has studied the connection between motion and social change for 25 years by way of her instructing, choreography, and artwork activism. The Ukrainian Maidan Revolution of Dignity of 2013–14, which drew hundreds of thousands of individuals throughout political, ethnic, and spiritual strains, impressed her deep dive into this analysis in Ukraine.


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