Workshop on innovative social work practices took place in the Centre for Continuous Education in Liège where we met with approximately twenty-five students from the Practicing Educators Course. It started with a presentation of roles and responsibilities of Views representatives present at the workshop and it continued with a short presentation of Views International’s history, from its formation to the present day with elements of its objectives, values and way of functioning included. Students participated actively, as they were encouraged to ask questions throughout the entire workshop.
After the presentation of Views, our team started to offer information about the non-formal education (what it is, highlighting its importance, where it is used etc.) slowly connecting this topic with information and opportunities of the Erasmus + Programme and all that it has to offer in terms of trainings and possibilities for it’s users. While answering participants’ questions, we continued with the presentation of the European Solidarity Corps Programme in which we presented our volunteering projects, our volunteers and their work in these projects.
Concluding the presentations on the context in which we work, the workshop moved on to phase two, where participants had the opportunity to experience the world from the perspective of the visually impaired. In this activity, participants were separated into two groups of their choice. The first group had the opportunity to experience the outside world from a blind person’s perspective by participating in a short walk outside the workshop room while blindfolded and using a white cane. The second group decided to stay indoors, experimenting, in mixed teams, with blind-adapted board games provided by Views.
After this activity was completed, Jay – an ESC volunteer and Beatrice – an intern at Views, introduced the participants to the daily life experiences of blind people through three short, non-formal theatre role-plays.
These activities were followed by a Q&A session on the previous activities.
As a result of the information and activities that were presented to them, we believe that future social workers will be better prepared in their field. Awareness-raising sessions to visual impairment is one of our organization’s core missions and we look forward to share with you the results of our next workshops.