How do we compare the opportunities of children with different potential? How do senses help in order to unveil the strengths of vulnerable groups? What happens when you close your eyes and let your senses lead you?
These questions were asked. A group of children, parents and experts from the “Equilibrium” Association managed to answer them together, during a visit to the Eco museum in Ruse on Saturday, the 6th of October 2018.
The visit was to the Eco museum and the purpose was to learn more about the world of nature and people in the Danube region; about past and present inhabitants of nature as well as about the local landscapes. A game focused on senses called “Guess what the hidden treasure is?” provokes their perceptions and the will for knowledge. First they met with a hairy mammoth and the world of nature millions of years ago. Then, with blindfolded eyes, they tried to find out what objects were hidden in some “treasure” boxes – a small bronze mammoth and a real mammoth tooth. Finally, they tried to create their perceptions out of clay and received gifts for their efforts.
The children and parents from the Sredna Kula neighborhood are involved in the activities of “Equilibrium” within the “Voices of Children” project, funded by the Human Resource Development Operational Program, A Priority Project by the “Transnational Cooperation”.
“We encourage children to cope independently. Communication is extremely important to meet people’s constraints and to provide a variety of channels through which these limitations can be overcome – for example sensory – a variety of sensations.” – explained the program director of “Equilibrium” Elena Petkova. This approach is innovative – the experience comes from the recent visit of the EQ team to Italy, with the partners of the ENFAP Marque. The team also managed to gather experience by visiting the only Tactile Museum in Western Europe – “Homer” in Ancona. The methodologies used in the services that the team of “Equilibrium” saw, are stressed on the positive and the strengths, but not on the limitations of the target groups. The emphasis of the Italian practices is on supporting the autonomy, mobility and social inclusion of risk groups – an effort shared by the “Equilibrium” team.
Different forms of communication, tailored to the limitations of the risk groups, make it possible to overcome the differences. Thus, marginalized groups of people experience similar emotions with others, which are the true social inclusions, according to “Equilibrium”.
The happenings in the Eco museum became part of a documentary that Arena Media is filming for innovative practices – a result of the collaboration of “Equilibrium” with the organization ENFAP Marque on the project. The film will be used as an educational tool for specialists, working with risk groups.