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“Art for Inclusion” 2010

In our effort to achieve our goal, there were various activities implemented with the “Art for Integration for Children with Disabilities” project; which officially was put into action by HDP on October 30, 2010. During the initial implementation period, HDP continued its cooperation with local Yerevan and regional partners: Alaverdi (Lori region), Dilijan (Tavush region) and Armavir (Armavir region). HDP then selected N 135 inclusive school in Yerevan as the staff of the school and main partner with activities; as well as a vocal specialist who was experienced in working with children with special needs conditions.

Children with disabilities in musical and art classes. The musical and art classes offered within the school incorporated both children with and without special needs, allowing the children with certain conditions to be integrated and included with others their age. This also helps the children develop their physical and mental abilities, and allows them to be more active minded and creative during performances, which in turn helps positively develop self-esteem.

HDP also organized various trips for the children to become involved in and learn more about their country. The first was a trip to Etchmiadzin, which is one of the well-known ancient historical cities in Armenia, which allowed the children to get to know to their own history. Another activity was in collaboration with the Dilijan branch of “Bridge of Hope” NGO, at the Hghardzin school in the Tavush Region. About 25% of the 50 children attending the school took part in the event where the students were able to use their talents to perform musically and artistically, while other members were both supportive and encouraging of them. After the event, the head of “Bridge of Hope” NGO Susanna Matinyan and the Project manager “Art for Inclusion for Children with Disabilities” Anahit Aghabekyan from HDP foundation spoke of the main goals and the importance of inclusion for all children despite their conditions. The students, as well as the school officials, noticed that this type of continued organization would positively help to change the atmosphere to ensure a friendlier environment at schools.

During the initial period, HDP also organized various art events at schools and in NGO’s engaged in disabled issues, as well as puppet theatre performances at Alaverdi kindergartens. These events were examples for schools from the 2009 project “Disabled People Organizations Outreach for Greater Tolerance,” which was aimed to promote inclusive education. These cultural project events held by HDP are good examples for promotion of integration in an inclusive environment.

Children with disabilities at summer camp Another event implemented in the project was a summer camp, which was carried out in the summer of 2010. HDP organized a group of children with disabilities to spend 10 days at summer camp for children in the Vahagnadzor village, Lori Region. The experience of summer camp was very encouraging, as that children integrated easier while they organized and took part in different events with the other children.

Summer camp became a good example for promotion of integration of disabled children. They were given many opportunities in this experience, in which many of them would not have been able to do otherwise. It helped the children with disabilities to develop their communicative skills and to break social-physiological barriers. According to the parents, summer camp is an excellent opportunity for their children to be more interactive and open-minded.

Various HDP organized documentary films have been presented and aired in rural communities worldwide. The main goal of the project was to promote the idea of inclusion of target groups such as disabled children, children from socially disadvantaged families and refugee children.

 

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