Marking International Children’s Day, the EU Info Centre organised artistic workshops for children with special needs in Derventa, Široki Brijeg, Trebinje and Bihać to foster more awareness of the rights of people with disabilities. Led by experienced art therapists, the artists worked with children in shaping clay, and painting and drawing, enabling them to express themselves and create artworks.
“The workshop is very interesting and we would like to continue working with clay and creating new art,” said Dragana and Nataša, participants of the workshop held in Derventa, who made butterflies and hearts out of clay.
“Creative workshops and art in general are very important for the physiological development of children, as well as the development of child and adult creativity. Workshops like this one contribute to better socialisation of children, and boost their confidence and communication skills through work and play. They are especially important for children with special needs, since different types of art and workshops like these provide a sense of belonging and contribution to society as equal members,” noted Snježana Domazet, moderator of the workshop in Trebinje.
Artistic workshops support children with special needs in developing a sense of belonging to society and, by creating artworks through which they present their environment, help them contribute to development of culture and the raising of awareness of citizens about the importance of culture to society. The themes of environment and free expression gave the participants the breadth and freedom to fully express themselves, while allowing them access and the possibility of deeper thinking, introspection and final creative expression.
“Creative workshops with marginalised groups are exceptionally important because they bridge the gap between children that need to express themselves and the outside world filled with challenges. From a pedagogical point of view, workshops like these influence the process of socialisation and team work, and improve their motor skills,” underlined Dalibor Nikolić, moderator of the workshop in Široki Brijeg.
The aim of the workshops was to encourage cooperation and to create a more enabling environment for such initiatives, and ensure progress in general by building self-confidence, security, safety and future opportunities for children with special needs. The vision is to build a world where every child can grow up healthy, protected from harm, and educated, enabling their full potential.