Hearts for Healthy Relationships was a project that I initiated in 2009. At the time I was facilitating a craft group for parents, and I wanted a gentle way to start talking about family violence.
One in four families experience family violence, and it costs the Australian economy $13 billion per year.
The following heart pendants are made from polymer clay. I purchased Kato Clay as the colours are vibrant and I had heard it is easier to work with than Fimo.
I asked the parents to make as many pieces as they wanted for themselves, but to make one pendant that my organisation could give away at a Domestic Violence awareness event in the town centre in December 2009. The parents enjoyed this activity so much, they asked if they could do it again at the next group.
We did a total of four sessions making heart pendants. Some parents stayed back for up to an hour after each group session to talk more about healthy relationships and family violence.
The project was well received in the other suburbs that the organisation works in. A total of 250 heart pendants were made to be given away. I attached string to all of the pendants and packaged them in an organza bag together with a card raising awareness of dating violence and family violence. Most of the pendants were given to young people who gather outside the shopping precinct.
I wanted to do a workshop with the Year 5 & 6 children at the school but we ran out of time to organise it. You need at least 2 hours for the session as the clay requires working to make it soft and pliable, and it needs to be baked for 20 minutes.
It was a wonderful project, and the people who participated in it still talk about it.