Guatemala: Support of a school for people with disabilities
The public school Semillita de Esperanza (Little Seed of Hope) located in Petén, Guatemala was founded in 2009. Today, 52 children and young adults with different mental and physical disabilities attend the school regularly. One of the main challenges is that the school does not have the appropriate technical capacities and infrastructure to specifically encourage the students' emotional and communicative development and motor skills.
Therefore, the project supports the installation of an “Active Space”, a room for multi-sensorial development, with the appropriate equipment for sensory therapy, as well as necessary training for the teachers who will be in charge of the Active Space. The aim is to facilitate playful experimenting and learning to improve the physical and emotional well-being and promote the integration of disabled people in the long-term. . At the same time, the Active Space will also strengthen the school’s capacities.
The project started in November 2019 with the planning of trainings, acquisition of materials and preparation and improvement of the facilities. By February 2020, the Active Space will be equipped and the teachers trained so that the new school year can be started by integrating the sensory therapy into the daily schedule. In a second training, related experiences will be evaluated and the findings will be used on site to further adapt the Active Space to the students' needs.
The project was initiated by Elena Baumanns, consultant at GFA’s NRM department, and Ángeles Barros, an art therapist living in Guatemala, who will closely accompany the project implementation together with the school team.