19 Dec 2011

Rays of Light for the Blind of Sebeta

Our team of volunteer psychomotor experts have now returned from Ethiopia.  They left behind them an equipped gym, which is now in full swing with psychomotor, and sensory integration activities put on by three monitors who they trained during their trip.  These are the same monitors who we have working in the Messi Room.  

Above all they have left behind many happy children whose lives have totally changed in the last few months.  Children, as all children, who are happy playing, climbing, jumping on cushions on the floor…things that are very normal for most children but very difficult for others.

Apart from the recreational side of these psychomotor activities they will also be very useful for the reading, writing and understanding classes, in that they help to teach time and space orientation and the coordination of shoulders, elbows, wrists and fingers, the executive parts of the body and postural control.

After this work in the gym the children move to the classrooms and this helps to make their lessons more real and significant.  Since there are two classrooms, one where they teach reading and writing and one where they do more manual, tactile tasks and the gym, each of the three monitors will pass from one area to the other with their own group.

The initial stage in the teaching of the monitors is now complete and they have been able to enjoy many of the new sensations as much as the children.  They have now started sensorial integration work with the children who are severely and intellectually disabled.

The changes in the children are incredible, this can be seen in their drawings where they are now able to represent things around them in a much more real and recognisable fashion and relate them to themselves.  Many children have started to draw their homes and talk about their own lives and their roots…this has been very emotional for them and for us.

Photos: activities in the gym, teaching the monitors, pretending to be blind so as to be better able to teach (including our representative Dr Zerihun).

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