managed by A. Gagovska (Communication)
After visiting a similar organization in Slovenia and witnessing the students of PORAKA NOVA utilizing the facilities, both inside and outside, it came to the attention of PORAKA NOVA that a similar outside play area could be constructed, relatively inexpensively, with a huge pay-off to the beneficiaries of the organization. With that in mind, PORAKA NOVA developed the idea of a play area.
Constructing a play area provides a safe outdoor space for the beneficiaries of the organization to play. After all, the beneficiaries with intellectual and developmental disabilities, often find that they are unable to participate in outdoor activities because they are ridiculed and teased. Such a structure would not only allow them to play outside and enjoy the wonderful weather and geography that Struga has to offer, but it would allow the beneficiaries to focus on their health. In learning how fun it can be to be physically active, the beneficiaries will hopefully become more active in their everyday lives. In conjunction with the construction of the play area, PORAKA NOVA will begin teaching health and wellness classes to those who attend the Day Care Center (currently, this is approximately seventeen people).
In addition, PORAKA NOVA currently has seventeen people with intellectual disabilities attending the Day Care Center. While those seventeen people, along with their families are benefitting tremendously, there is a large group of people with intellectual disabilities that do not attend any of PORAKA NOVA’s activities. Because all services, events, and centers are free of charge, PORAKA NOVA constantly strives to reach more people and provide additional services. Through adding a play area, PORAKA NOVA feels confident that new people with intellectual disabilities, especially those who are young, will be attracted and eager to attend.
Struga is a beautiful town with tourism being responsible for so much of the industry, yet the inhabitants of Struga fail to recognize the importance of the environment, keeping it clean, and maintaining the natural beauty of the area. Thus, the development of the play area provides an excellent chance to encourage Struga to recycle. Poraka Nova also understands that it is critical to teach the beneficiaries of the organization the importance of recycling and eco-friendliness. Therefore, aside from the fence, the entire play area will be constructed with recycled, reused, and donated materials. With this as the model, the organization will also host events in the play area focused on how to reuse materials, how to recycle, and other environmentally aware topics. Finally, Poraka Nova will serve as a role model, by having recycling bins, separated by material (glass, plastic, etc.) in the play area to teach the beneficiaries and others using the space more about the day-to-day recycling practices.
In addition, the construction of the play area allows Poraka Nova to invite schools and classes to the organization to spend recreational and social time with the beneficiaries of the organization. This is one of Poraka Nova’s current goals and something that the organization strives to do, however, the organization finds it difficult to entice schools and classes to visit the organization. The play area will surely do just that. Thus, the project will help to enable those with and without disabilities to interact, play together, form friendships and will be one step closer to social inclusion.