Storyteller mum wants to donate therapeutic books to children and families who go through stormy situations
This expat mum and storyteller has released Stories can Heal, a crowd funding campaign meant to bring to life therapeutic stories for children and parents who face life-changing difficulties.
Cristina Guraliuc is a mum of a 3 year old little girl and a storyteller. Having recently lost her dad last November, she found it extremely difficult to explain what happened to her daughter. She eventually found a book in her local library, a therapeutic story that helped her tremendously. And that is how the idea of writing therapeutic stories came out, she says. She is now running a crowd funding campaign to raise money for her “stories can heal” project which will help children and families who go through challenges such as losing somebody they love and also explain adversities such as going through a divorce, dealing with a terminal disease or a disability, being bullied or going through major transitions such as moving countries.
Stories can Heal is part of the *Natwest Bring it 2020 *program, designed to support female entrepreneurs from the UK to follow their dreams. Cristina moved to the UK a little over two years ago, together with her husband and daughter.
I felt like I moved to the Moon to be honest. It was a massive transition! I felt everything from the weather to the way the local authorities have helped me build my own business. So imagine how it was for my little girl, she argues.
They found comfort in reading, especially books in English, so that her little girl could get familiar with the new language. Mum and daughter started making regular trips to the local library and that is where the expatriate-mum found the inspiration and courage to start her own business.
I am a former journalist, so stories are running through my veins. I had this idea – that I could write unique stories for children and families, I just could not find the guts to do it. I knew nothing about running a business, but I loved to write, so I just did it, Cristina explains. That is how she created The Story Store, a small online bookshop where she sells personalized books for children and families.
Every story will be proofread by a psychologist
Whenever she writes a new story, she makes sure there is a takeaway, a big lesson the child gets to carry with him once he closes the book. So enrolling to Natwest Bring it 2020 was the natural next step to take, as the storyteller-mum says it is something she has wanted to do ever since she read the first story to her little baby.
Cristina’s plan is to raise £2,500 to write as many therapeutic stories as she possibly can. Two of these stories are going to be illustrated and printed, and the first one hundred copies will go to local charities who support such causes. All the stories are going to be proofread by a psychologist and edited with the proper suggestions. She needs to be careful when using symbols and actions, so that they can go straight to the heart.
It is so, so difficult to write for children, although it seems like so much fun. But when you deal with trauma such as losing a parent, you need to be extra careful, because the wrong word could cause damage instead of good, Cristina explains.
Therapeutic stories are used by psychologists from all around the world in their therapy sessions. Through stories, patients are more prone to understand childhood trauma. Plus, they feel understood and cared for, allowing the therapist to make suggestions on a deeper level, thus facilitating healing.
I like how Kim S. Goding, a clinical psychologist, defines the amazing power of stories. She says that stories are part of being human; whether formal or informal, we are all storytellers. Traumatized children and their parents, however, cannot always give voice to these stories. Brilliant, is it not? That is exactly what this crowd funding campaign is meant for, she says.
Stories can Heal is already sixty percent funded, but there are only 6 days to go. Cristina remains positive that she will manage to at least cover for illustrating and printing the one hundred copies of her first two stories. The big vision is to be able to help as many children and parents as possible. Because, as she says,
with everything that the world is going through, we need to think of all those people who have been living a drama way before the Corona outbreak. That is the only way we can come out of this stronger.
Cristina Guraliuc is turning thirty this April and she was born in a small town from Romania. She graduated Journalism and has traveled the world studying with different scholarships. She has always dreamed of living in England and she is now living her dream.