2nd Transnational Meeting of Erasmus +project „Sharing the world: disability and displacement” was held in Daugavpils Russian Secondary School-Luceym, Latvia, from 15th to 17th May 2018.
Within the planned actions organized during the 2nd transnational meeting in Latvia project participants had an opportunity to get acquainted not only with the educational system of Latvia and work with children with special needs but also experience the specialness of the city Daugavpils that is unique in its multinationality (Russians, Latvians, Polish, Belarusians, etc.). Moreover, every participant during this meeting could get some practical ideas that might be useful in his/ her work.
On the 15th May (the first working day) the project partners got the general overview on hosting school and its speciality. The lyceum principal shared the work experience with gifted children and told about programmes that are realized in the lyceum to develop pupils’ skills and talents. Then we visited 1st Special Basic School where we got acquainted with teaching methods used in work with disabled children, visited music, art and sports lessons. Also we were taught how to make a flower from the paper and to play a game ‘Boccia’ (This game is included in Paralympics games. Pupils from this school actively participate in national competitions and Olympic Games). The principal of a school also told about the professional programmes for pupils and ways of their integrating into society. In the afternoon we worked on the dissemination plan and website materials.
On the second day project participants took part in the seminar ‘Exchange of Good Practices: Experience & Innovation’ (Work experience with children with special needs and orphanage children; children’s rights ). Both guests and project partners shared their working experience with disabled and displaced children. The head of City Education Department presented the educational system of Daugavpils and told about the inclusive education in the city. Russian lyceum has created really close relations with orphanage houses, so during the seminar the head teachers of orphanage houses “Priedite” and Naujene told about good practices of collaboration work with Russian lyceum. Also they shared the experience of working with Latvian and American host families. The head teacher from Naujene orphanage house gave some bits of advice how to work with teenagers with behavioural disorders. Another guest, the Child Rights Specialist from Daugavpils City Education Department, presented how the children’s rights are preserved in Daugavpils city and what activities are held to realise the European Convention on the Rights of the Child. In the second part of the seminar the project partners told about their good practises of working with children with disabilities and informed about activities that have been done in the frame of working with children’s rights. It was a home task for every participant.
In the afternoon we worked on the agenda for the next mobilities and evaluated the activities that were fulfilled by that time.
On the last day we visited Medumi Boarding school. This is a rural basic school for children with special needs. During this visit we could enjoy the performance prepared by the pupils, also we talked with the staff that work in this school and got familiar with programmes that help to integrate pupils with different level of mental and physical disabilities into modern society. After that we had a workshop with Russian lyceum psychologist. She presented the drama method that she uses to help lyceum pupils to overcome their fears, to become more self-confident and creative. Project participants tried this method presenting the Russian fairy tale “Riaba the Hen”. Also American specialist in drama techniques Mr Phillip Freeman (Alaska, the USA) shared some practical ideas of using drama at the lessons. We also enjoyed the modern version of a play “Little Red Riding Hood” performed by the 7th form pupils. It was a great reveal of drama method that helped pupils to overcome their shyness and lack of confidence.
In the afternoon we finished our work on project activities, agreed on the details of working with project site sharingtheworld.net and eTwinning platform. We also discussed the possibilities to disseminate project activities on Facebook platform. We recollected all the activities that were fulfilled by this time and the project coordinator filled in the information in the activities schedule to write the progress report. We agreed on the paper work that has to be done by the end of June. We got the task to prepare statistics on the labour market for disabled people in every city and send this information for the Romanian team to publish it on the map. The project coordinator promised to upload the information regarding to the mobility in France.
During this meeting we got acquainted with the integration process into the Latvian society and we could see how the minorities preserve their national traditions. We attended Polish Cultural Centre, we familiarized with methods of preserving Russian cultural traditions in the lyceum. And finally we enjoyed the hospitality of Latvian National Centre watching and practicing the folk dances, cooking and trying Latvian cuisine.