Exchanging Good Practices with Maria’s World Foundation

On February 6th The Cedar Foundation’s social therapists in Kyustendil welcomed their partners from Maria’s World Foundation. The aim of the visit was for the two organizations to exchange experience and for the visitors to become acquainted with Cedar’s good practices in the provision of quality care for children and youths with intellectual disabilities. Within a day the hosts proudly presented their everyday activities and responsibilities, their methods for developing the children and youths’ autonomy, the art therapy and leisure time activities.

Despite the snowy weather, the staff presented their herbal garden, greenhouse and zoo corner in the yard of the family-type home. Meanwhile, the children and youths joyfully and willingly demonstrated their work in the “Tell Me a Story” group and in the “Agile Hands” workshop, where they were preparing martenitsi from yarn and beads.

In the Center for Social Rehabilitation and Integration (CSRI), the youths from the “The Stage is Mine” club presented a humorous theater play on social behavior in a real situation- travelling by public transport, which was followed by unprompted singing and dancing. In addition, the cooking and arts clubs were presented, and the art therapists from both organizations discussed the different techniques they have developed, such as decoupage. They discussed the ways of implementing the techniques depending on the difficulty and the level of skills needed.

Another important aspect of the visit was the therapeutic character of all CSRI’s activities—the clubs and workshops, which Cedar offers. Meanwhile, our colleagues from Maria’s World shared their experience in fostering work habits and abilities, selecting suitable jobs that match the clients’ interests as well as the employers’ needs, and working towards the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in the job market.

Cedar’s team will also visit Maria’s World’s Day Center in the future.


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