In times of dire socio-economic crisis similar to the one we live today, emotions such sadness, injustice, disappointment, frustration are intensified and depression symptoms show a considerable increase. In turn, these feelings may lead into difficult situations and behaviors, with negative effects for the individual as well as for the society.
Preventing these situations and their harmful consequences, the relief of negative emotions through creative and beneficial ways for the individual and the society are what Emfasis considers as “social damage reduction”.
There are some dangerous streets out there. Streets where violence, tension and pain prevail. Streets that no one wishes or has the courage to cross.
Throughout the winter project, “MerrySTREETmas” by Emfasis Foundation, we have tried to be there for the people who were most affected by the socio-economic crisis. We knew that even though festivities are described as days of joy for most of us, for the socially excluded it is a period of time when negative feelings, thoughts and loneliness are felt even more intensely.
Our aim was to stand by them, showing understanding and ‘absorbing’ the vibration of their feelings. Through a simple act of offering them a cup of tea and meeting some of their basic needs we tried to state that we were there to listen and to keep the communication open with them. Our daily presence even on Christmas and New Year’s Days gave them the opportunity to express their negative thoughts and feelings and in return presented us with an opportunity to offer them some relief. We tried to make the streets brighter and more peaceful, with a spirit of optimism for the future.