HELPING DISABLED CHILDREN
Action clé :
Action clé 1
Gesond Zesummeliewen Ronderëm d’Schoul (Luxembourg)
Institut pour IMC (Luxembourg)
VIA e.V. – Verein für internationalen und interkulturellen Austausch (Germany)
The project was carried outin the “Institut pour Infirmes Moteurs Cérébraux (IMC)”, a school in Luxembourg for physically and mentally disabled children and adolescents, aged 3 to 18. It is located in Strassen (near Luxembourg-City) and is specifically designed, staffed and resourced to provide appropriate special education for children and adolescents with special needs. The school provides individualised education, addressing different and specific needs, by involving the available equipment and materials and accessible settings. These interventions are designed to help learners with special needs achieve a higher level of personal self-sufficiency and success in their educational path and their community life.
Most of the 57 pupils, coming from different countries, are in wheelchairs.
The spoken language in the school is “Lëtzebuergesch” (everyday spoken language; German and French are used in written communication).
The volunteers cooperated with teachers, social pedagogues, nurses and therapists. They had the role of assistants helping pupils who are not able to work on their own.
Our objective is to enable interested young people to experience volunteering in Luxembourg in a particular environment. The volunteers gain greater insight and understanding for people with special needs and get the opportunity to develop solidarity, mutual understanding, tolerance, social cohesion and active citizenship.
The volunteers worked together with their supervisor and helped to support pupils with special needs by teaching different methods and activities in order to train the pupils’ basic knowledge.
They supported disabled pupils to participate in different activities like cooking, ceramics or painting workshops. The volunteers assisted the physiotherapists in the swimming pool, on the jumping air bag and during other physical activities.
The volunteers were involved in the preparation of seasonal events like Santa Claus, Christmas, Carnival and Easter festivities.
They also responded to all the special needs of the pupils, such as feeding, teaching coordination skills, helping them to clean their teeth, face and hands, etc.
The volunteers learned to:
- Develop a good practice in caring for pupils with complex and/or special educational needs
- Assist the pedagogical team in those fields
- Work in a team
- Train verbal and non-verbal communication-skills
- Experience practical life long learning
- Become more tolerant towards people with special needs
- Learn to live on their own
- Experience European citizenship.
For the disabled children, it is a benefit to have a supplementary person in class. The volunteers enabled pupils to participate more actively in different tasks and activities.
For the disabled pupils it is a benefit to have a supplementary person in class for a whole school-year. Some of them even progressed due to the assistance of the volunteer, which made it possible that they could exercise their skills in a regular way.
Hosting someone from a different country allows the pupils to get in contact with another culture and brings new experiences especially because they are not able to travel a lot due to their disability.
The project shows how people from different cultures, nationalities and religions are able to cooperate in the interest of the children and adolescents involved.
The groups in which a volunteer works get a new/supplementary view on the pupils. It helps the team to question and to improve their work.
The trainees, in contact with the volunteer, get the opportunity to experience what volunteering is.
Back at home, the volunteer shares his/her experiences and tries to increase the awareness of his/her environment to the needs of disabled people.
We will continue to work with the partner organisations and will recommend them as reliable to volunteers, who are looking for a cooresponding organisation.