Sport, camps and social integration
One of the priority objectives in the intervention program for deinstitutionalized children is to forma of their social skills.
The period in which they were institutionalized clearly marks their social development. Most children experience difficulties in integrating in the community, in dealing with other children and adults.
For the development of social skills, educational and direct care staff organize specific activities:
- visits at museums;
- fun activities in parks;
- going to cinemas, circus and theater for children;
- entertaining/sports activities together with other children from the community;
- camps and holiday trips;
- Special Olympics competitions together with other children with disabilities.
Weekly, there are organized visits to in order to form social skills:
- the ability to travel in the means of transportation;
- learning civilized behavior in public places;
- the ability to adapt their behavior to different social contexts.
During holidays, there are organized special programs at Văratec, where the Motivation Foundation Summer Camp is located.
There, our children and youth have the opportunity to participate in excursions (monasteries, museums, etc.), at entertaining activities and to meet other young people with or without disabilities.
The philosophy on which all our programs are built is that the person with disabilities can and must enjoy a fulfilled life with friends and family. Recreational and leisure activities are very important for each of us, and sport has a special place among them.
This is why we are proud, among other things, with achievements in sport of children and young people in foster family homes or professional foster cares. Our children and young people train and participate in sports competitions for people with intellectual disabilities organized by the Special Olympics Foundation in Romania.
Training and sports competitions contribute to improving motor skills and sports skills, developing the team spirit and the competitiveness of young people with intellectual disabilities. Gained medals from participating in competitions motivate them, give them confidence in themselves and stimulate them to continue their sports training.
In the winter holidays there are organized Ski Caps at Parâng, where SO athletes from the family-type Motivation’s houses are participating. Members of Special Olympics and teachers from ANEFS are helping with participants training.
Nicoleta Stan represented Romania at the Global Youth Summit, held in Nagano, Japan, at the Special Olympics Winter Olympics, whose slogan was “By changing our attitude, we can change the world” and brought together youth representatives from 14 countries . Being a good skier, Nicoleta attended the Premiere of the Special Olympics Winter Olympics in Boise, Idaho, which took place in February 2008.
At Special Olympics Friendship Games that took place in Constanta from September 24 to 28, 2008, the children participated in athletics and bocce competitions. On this occasion, they had the opportunity to get acquainted with athletes from Bulgaria, Estonia, Italy, Hungary, Moldova, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Turkey and Romania. During holidays, our children and youth participate in other Special Olympics events where they perform sporting and fun activities.
Organizing camps is another successful method that Motivation has used over the years to train wheelchair users and encourage them to become independent. In addition, for children, Motivation camps are a place where they can make friends, play and prepare to enter the community. Some of the beneficiaries of these camps have also become instructors for other wheelchair users.
The principle is simple one: learning to cope in an unfamiliar environment the beneficiary gains confidence in his or her own forces and manages to adapt more easily to the new situation in a familiar environment. Starting from the premise that family members may occasionally be over-protective, thus limiting opportunities to accommodate the new situation, new wheelchair users are temporarily separated from family members and integrated into the group of other wheelchair users.
An exception is made by the children participating in the camps alongside the parent who is accompanying them, together and with the help of the specialists, to learn to build a positive relationship. Thus, the parent becomes aware of his role and how he can help the child achieve his development potential.
The one-week camps we organize at Văratec-Neamț in 6 wood cottages built by Motivation are alternative ways of acquiring independent living skills, sharing experiences, creating a group of friends and groups support at local level.