There is nothing more beautiful than building a better world with like-minded people! People who can teach you a lot and at the same time are ready to listen to you.
This is the feeling we experience every time we work with our VIVA project partners. This time we would like to tell you more about our last international meetings with them, which was much more than a training, and the inspiration and activation of our own skills and potential.
The meeting took place between 17th and 23rd November and enabled more than 20 participants from Romania, Greece, Iceland, Belgium, Italy and Bulgaria to present their methods in the work with visually impaired people. The main focus was on enhancing the confidence and skills of visually impaired people, as well as the fact that in today’s world it is no longer sufficient to be competitive only on a national level, but also on an international one.
Participants went through a visual awareness training and discussed the importance of knowing the environment around them and what the factors to consider when organizing an event with people with special needs are. The topics discussed were various – from discussions related to social entrepreneurship to workshops for analyzing our individual strengths and weaknesses, from games for spatial and creative thinking to training in organizing events and the use of theatrical skills in our work.
We have also introduced two of our methods – ‘Bread in the Dark’ and the game ‘Bakers without borders’. Two events “Bread in the Dark” were implemented the “Bread in the Dark” team, who presented the initiative and shared their happiness of being involved in such an international project as VIVA. One of the mornings was entirely dedicated on planning how the game could be successfully adapted for visually impaired people.
We are looking forward to our next meeting, which will be from 3rd till 9th July but until then we will keep you updated about the events and initiatives of the project.
And if you are curious to get involved in our work or you have an idea how to adapt the game ‘Bakers without borders’, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
During the first VIVA project meeting, which took place in the city of Volos from 16th April till 18th April 2019 with the kind hospitality of the Greek partners from the University of Thessaly, the partner organizations could meet and discuss how to collectively develop a training program on social entrepreneurship for visually impaired young people. The training program will focus on the development of leadership, inter-cultural and entrepreneurial skills. Key methods to support the training process will be the innovative program Bread in the Dark and The Game: Bakers without borders offered by the Bread Houses Network as well as team-building practices based on drama techniques.
The first training is scheduled for the middle of November in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Bread Houses Network is happy to share with you one of the newest projects which we are implementing together with 7 other partners from all over Europe. Its name is VIVA – ‘Visually Impaired youth with Vested Autonomy’ and its aim is to provide visually impaired young people with opportunities for better professional and personal development via social entrepreneurial skills. The project is funded by the European Commission and has a duration of 2 years (from 01.03.2019 till 28.02.2021).
The main objective of VIVA project is to develop an innovative social entrepreneurship training programme to be applied in the youth sector, addressing the needs of young persons with visual impairment, for improved social inclusion and employment opportunities. The program will incorporate a unique delivery approach, i.e. young people with visual impairment will receive a training focused on leadership, entrepreneurial and intercultural skills, transforming them into autonomous members of society and able multipliers of the approach – trainers and motivators of other young people with visual impairment.
Based on the overall experiences of the partners, visually impaired are the experts on their conditions, which means that they should be the ones talking, explaining, empowering others. Hence the main approach to be followed would be – “empower to empower”. The main planned outcomes of the training for the target group (youth with v.i. aged 18 to 30) would be: increased self-confidence, motivation for learning and employment, social entrepreneurial skills, self efficacy and intercultural communication skills. The overall effect would be: raising awareness and revealing participants’ full potential for their personal and professional development.
Partners of the project:
- Asociatia Ofensiva Tinerilor (Romania) – Applicant / Coordinator
- Foundation For Development of the Cultural and Business Potential of Civil Society (Bulgaria) – Partner Organisation
- International council for cultural centers (Bulgaria) – Partner Organisation
- National Rehabilitation Centre for Blind (Bulgaria) – Partner Organisation
- ARTEVELDEHOGESCHOOL (Belgium) – Partner Organisation
- National Institute for the Blind (Iceland) – Partner Organisation
- University of Thessaly – UTH (Greece) – Partner Organisation
- Unione Italiana Ciechi ed Ipovedenti Sezione Provinciale di Firenze (Italy) – Partner organisation
You can find more information about the project activities HERE!
The purpose of the project was social inclusion and personal transformation of visually impaired people through the Bread IN the Dark method for community cohesion and bread making with sighted people. Bread in the Dark events were connecting sight-impaired facilitators with sighted people in 100% darkened environment where the mixed group engages in bread-making as a catalyst for dialogue on various existential questions, experienced tangibly through the processes of kneading bread as metaphors for life.
The project included training and group work with visually impaired and sighted people, mixed Bread IN the Dark bread making events and darkening of the Sofia Bread House to ensure 100 % darkened environment.
Period of implementation: August 2017 – January 2018
Financing organisation: Vivacom Regional Grant