Start date: Aug 1, 2015,
End date: Jul 31, 2017
The project is an after-school Neohumanistic Education programme for children and adolescents of Cottonera Inaugurated in 2006, it presently comprises classes in yoga, creativity, athletics, computer and English. Yoga Shoots, a programme for primary and secondary schools in Malta offering yoga for kids, intercultural awareness and creativity was introduced recently.
The methodology focuses on allowing the participants to enjoy themselves while learning, and helping them discover their true potential, thereby increasing their motivation and self-esteem. All classes are free of charge to benefit social cases. Individual classes for children with special learning needs are also held, as well as yoga, health and stress management courses for mothers and volunteers.
A morning summer club for the same children is held during July and August.
Classes are held in Centru Tbexbix, which is a converted 17th century house in a pedestrian area in the old part of Bormla as well as other appropriate venues shared with other projects and schools in the area.
Athletics classes are held at the Marsa Sports Complex and St Margaret College, the first venue by courtesy and sponsored by the Mellieha Athletics Association and the second by courtesy of the principal of St Margaret College.
The overall objectives of the project are to develop physical well-being and mental capabilities through yoga, sports, play and other activities, awaken a thirst for knowledge and love of life long learning, equip participants with skills necessary for life and for higher education, encourage a universal outlook, free from discrimination based on religion, race, creed or sex, and to foster a respect for all cultures and apply what is learned in practical life and encourage students to become active and responsible members of society.
The methodology used is non-formal. It includes personal development techniques, interaction, learning in groups and experiential and participatory learning. Thematic drama, visualisations, videos and power point presentations are some of the tools used.
The number of volunteers varies according to the number of children at any one time. 60 children and adolescents are enrolled at present, and all of them get individual attention.
Working at Centru Tbexbix are a number of professionals including two full-time warranted teachers, a psychologist, a yoga teacher, IT technician, administrative / financial secretary, maintenance person. Several other professionals in the field of education (Art, Music, Drama, Sports, Languages) participate in the project on a part-time volunteer basis. Regular enrolment of overseas volunteers enhances the English component and intercultural dimension of the project.
Currently 10 volunteers respectively from Germany, Hungary, Turkey, Czech Republic, Portugal and Spain are doing EVS at the project, In this application we are including six volunteers, three from Germany, two from Italy and one from Spain, who will replace six of the current volunteers. All volunteers come from an education background of social work and teaching, with interest in creativity, healthy living, yoga and sport, and will participate for 11 / 12 months.
It is envisaged that participants will discover new ways of learning and be inspired to contribute with their skills and do social service to society. The transferable skills that are learned by the kids from the volunteers and vice versa, will help all the participants in their academic, technical, artistic and overall education.
From past similar projects we know that the regular activities will help the children in their cognitive and behavioural development. Many of our children end up being prize-winners in their school, and all of them show more willingness to interact with people of different nationalities and cultures, as well as become more able to resolve conflicts.
The multicultural aspect of the project leaves a strong impact. The effect that it generates is measurable. Children become keen to explore and learn German songs, play Turkish games, etc.
Long-term, the sense of understanding of diversity is maintained. The fact that foreign people are coming to Bormla to see similarities and distinctions, and accept to live and work here for a relatively long period, is very revealing to the local community and it increases their self esteem tremendously.
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