Three towns – Craiova, Timisoara and Arad, hundreds of children, teachers, parents and local people, 1.300 kilometres travelled, lots of emotions and joy – this is how we could summarise the experience of the first Sensabilitate Caravan which took place in March 28-30, 2017.
Together with Mister Vasile Adamescu and his interpreter, Viorel Micu, Sense International Romania team promoted the rights of people with deafblindness, drawing attention upon deafblindness and the severity of this condition. Inside the Sensory Tent, with the eyes and the ears covered, with the help of various materials and sensory equipment, textures, flavours and tastes, people felt and understood, at least partially, what is means to not see and not hear.
On the first day, Tuesday March 28th, we were present at the Craiovita Auchan Commercial Centre in Craiova, where we were visited by our colleagues – the teachers from the Special Secondary School Sf. Vasile, while other dozens of people present in the shop at the time found out things about deafblindness and experienced the sensory tent.
It was a unique experience; although the space is limited, senses amplify. Thus, the space itself seems a lot bigger than it really is. It is full of all sorts of materials that need to be explored; you can make your own representation of what you think it is, but in the end you realise you cannot make an accurate image of what is in the tent, because everything is at a first touch, you move step by step, because you don’t know if there is any danger, any obstacle, so everything happens slower, says Ramona Budihala, teacher at the Special Technological Highschool Beethoven in Craiova.
The second stopover happened on Wednesday, March 29, at Iulius Mall in Timisoara. For three hours, over 100 people of all ages, pupils, parents, teachers and customers in the mall, accepted the challenge of experimenting deafblindness.
We came to Timisoara in order to promote the rights of people with deafblindness and with a strong will to fight for these rights. One of the greatest challenges faced by these people is communication, and they need special devices which cost a lot and the state does not provide for them. It is hard (for people with deafblindness) to integrate in the society and to communicate with other people. It is important that they work in sheltered workshops, to earn a living, says Vasile Adamescu.
On Thursday, March 30, the caravan stopped in Craiova, at Atrium Mall. Children, young people and teachers from the Special Technological Highschool Sfanta Maria and from the School Centre for Inclusive Education Arad came to show their support to this campaign, to meet and talk with Mr. Adamescu.
A wonderful day spent with wonderful people such as Mr. Vasile Adamescu, a teacher, writer and artist. Thank you, Vasile Adamescu, for the example you give to all of us, thank you, Sense International Romania, for this wonderful day spent together, thank you children, parents and teachers for attending this beautiful activity, says Ileana Neamtiu, a teacher at the School Centre for Inclusive Education Arad.
We are back from this first road trip, full of hope, happy with the 282 people who showed their support for our initiative by signing the Paper of the Rights of people with Deafblindness.
We are now getting ready for the second stage of the caravan that will take place in Sibiu (April 25th), Oradea (April 26th) and Cluj Napoca (April 27th).
We want to thank our partners Autonom Rent-a-Car and Algernon, a true support in making this caravan happen, the Orange staff who volunteered to help, as well as the commercial centres that provided the space: Immochan, Commercial Centre Craiovita Auchan in Craiova, Iulius Mall Timisoara and Atrium Mall Arad.