Workshop With the Mentally Challenged
Since 2007 AYUDH Spain has been collaborating with the Catalan Sport Federation of Limited Disabilities to bring joy into the lives of mentally challenged people. At least once per month, AYUDH members take a group of mentally challenged young adults for an outing in Barcelona. Usually they take advantage of local cultural festivals and events.
Recently AYUDH prepared a special activity involving music, body movement and relaxation for the group of disabled people.
“When we started the music, they all got very excited. Even those who felt a little shy at the beginning started to dance–in pairs, alone or in a group! We did simple, fun exercises to the rhythm of the music. We shared so much happiness, being invited by the music to let go of all fears and tensions!” said Gemma, the AYUDH Spain leader.
With eyes closed, everyone was laying down on the floor, soft music playing in the background. Everybody went into a deep state of relaxation. Finally all danced together as a group, joyfully.
“It was amazing to see these mentally challenged people, who can be very restless at times, so relaxed,” said Gemma.
One participant explained that it was nice to do something so completely different from ordinary life, feeling happy and well balanced.
“I liked the workshop a lot. I think it’s very good to help these people with learning disabilities, who can benefit so much from this kind of workshop. It is very gratifying to listen to what these people have to say and hear how they want to continue their lives. They are, in fact, very interesting and loving people,” said Cristina Chorro, an AYUDH member, thanking them for giving an opportunity.
Another AYUDH member, Laura Castellu, said, “I was really touched when they explained to us all how they had felt during the meditation. I remember one person who explained that she loves this kind of guided meditations because she enters a new, happier world–full of light and love.”
“They asked us to give more workshops like this in the future and even to arrange one for their superiors at work, in order to make them more relaxed as well,” said Gemma.