In the following I will describe our initiative project, which included doing handicraft work with disabled people and took place in the last months of our voluntary service during July and August.
Our aims were to give the clients new tasks and possibilities to try out their skills and to create something by their own of which they could see the results in the end. That’s why we thought about the initiative project as a good oppurtunity to reach these aims.
First, we started to chose suitable handicrafts and decided for dreamcatchers, mobiles including felted balls and a garland. With the money we got from our organisation EstYes, we went to the store with some of our clients to buy all the nessecary materials. We started with felting and tried two different methods. One with water and soup and creating balls with layers of felt in different colors by using the hands and the other one with a needle. Most of the clients had fun doing this and after showing them and helping them a few times, they could to it pretty much on their own.
The dreamcatchers were more challenging to do but in the end, we were really satisfied with the results we got.
The plan was to sell all the handicraft stuff on the market in Viljandi during the song festival for disabled people. This did not work out as excepted and we did not sell anything of our items.
Instead, we presented all the handicraft work to Karula and Näituse Kodu, so that they could decorate their houses.
Despite the fact that we were not succesful in selling our items, I suppose we achieved our main goal – the clients felt themself useful for the community, they saw the results of their work and the most crucial thing ist, that they truly enjoyed the process. So our initiative project proves, that people with mental and physical disorders should and actually can learn how to create, how to be completely engaged with work, how to make a difference. It goes without saying; we had some efforts to explain our clients how they can contribute, to teach them and to lead the process. But without any doubts, we can say that their development worthed any complications and barries on our way.
Antonia Ebbertz and Kseniia Stoborod stayed in Estonia for 12 months within the project ”Care to Make a Difference II” which is funded by Erasmus+ European Voluntary Service program.