It’s our last day in Romania and we have had a busy few days in Oradea.
On Thursday morning we visited a day centre for adults with Down syndrome. They had received a project in 2000 from Kathryn Williams and Emma Walmsley. They had recently moved into a new centre with more space and suitable facilities. With funding for the centre being difficult to obtain, most of the staff there are long term and dedicated volunteers.
We were able to observe a session and it was clear that the music sessions were something they did regularly and looked forward to. I can still hear some of the beautiful sounds that were created in the room where the session took place. So much love, laughter and friendship was present at this centre and it really warmed our hearts.
Our last day was spent at Centrul de Educatie Inclusiva nr.1, a school for children with special needs. Cathy delivered a project here in 2002 so it was exciting for her to revisit the teachers who took part in her training programme and see how they were getting on. We observed some great sessions with 5 different staff members all using music therapeutically with the children they work with. Those who were not there for Cathy’s training have learnt some skills from the staff that attended the ‘training for trainers’ course, which she ran 3 years ago. Cathy’s project encapsulates the true meaning of ‘sustainability’ and the aims of Music as Therapy International. 11 years later the interest in Music therapy is more alive than ever with new staff members wanting to learn more and incorporate music therapy into their work. Unbeknown to us there awaited a room full of 20 enthusiastic teachers who had gathered to meet Cathy and I so they could share their experiences and interests. They were all keen to learn more so they could develop their skills and understanding of music therapy. Hopefully this is something that we can facilitate alongside our Local Partners here in Oradea.
It’s been a fantastically busy week, meeting lots of old and new Local Partners, seeing some lovely music sessions and having some motivating discussions. We cannot wait to share all we have seen and learnt with the rest of the Music as Therapy International team and put some of the possible plans for the future in to action.
Hannah and Cathy