In the 90s, the Association for People in Need of Special Care was created by a group of people whose desire was to ameliorate these people’s physical and mental conditions with the help of art-therapy. They started from nothing, and haven’t stopped for 22 years for one purpose: to prove that there is nobody around us with “limited abilities” and each society member wearing such a false label reveals perfectly in different ways the main features of being human -to love and create. The organization of this type is the first to be opened in the Caucasian region and serves the idea of integrating people in need of special care with society.
Art and creativity to help people in need of special care
By Mariam Mchedlidze
Wednesday, July 16
From the very first minutes after entering the APNSC Day Home a relaxed environment is sensed while seeing friendly therapists working with their students who are busy doing the job that gives them pleasure and helps them to become more outspoken when it comes to their feelings, emotions and dreams. For the students, every single day spent in the center is a day of inspiration and shared ideas about making creative and completely different pieces of art. The day home does not offer typical medical care, but supportive art-methods from which these people receive great pleasure, and become more open to establishing new relationships. After the first visit, APNSC soon became their job full of responsibilities and affectionate family at the same time. This is a place where they feel that it is society who needs such talented people with endless fountains of imagination. This is demonstrated by theatre productions they hold.
Why should an organization that makes society see and behold such sensitive issues in a different way be in danger? The main reason for the staff to maintain their enthusiasm despite the center’s financial obstacles are the improvements that are made every year. Unfortunately, enthusiasm is not enough for producing new projects and more innovations are needed in order not to appear at a standstill. It needs to be noted that they still manage to broaden the interests sphere towards issues connected to people with specific abilities.
Despite being so successful and acknowledged by other foreign associations for having perfect services, all the government gives them is a monthly allowance of 11 GEL for just 38 members of association which in not even enough for paying taxes. The organization is mainly supported by foreign donors. Waiting every year for a little help is dangerous for our association.
”Apart from our European donors, a small amount of help comes from parents of people with special abilities. This place is not just to be physically outgoing for them, but to have a permanent job. Touching on this subject, we should mention the orders that are given from Buckswood and Waldrorfe schools. Our beneficiaries make books and brochures for them. The main idea of our organization is to help these adults to self-realization. Through the many years of being with us, they have intensified different abilities and became independent to conduct quite complicated operations on their own. There are German volunteers here who practice their therapeutic skills and we are happy to see such cordial relationships between them and the beneficiaries.” stated social therapist Keti Imnadze.
Art therapist Shoko Mosashvili talked about the processes and the main purposes of art in the association’s life.
“The most amazing thing while working with them is hearing thoughts and topics to work on like attitudes towards time, life and death. These are quite serious issues that some people in our society do not care about. Group and individual art therapy helps them to expose and develop hidden skills that are inside them, often because people like them don’t have the opportunity to reveal themselves. We can’t imagine this opportunity to be taken away from them. There are four different workshops in APNSC, including carpentry, creative workshop, candles, thick felt and macula-papers from which different pieces of art are created. Beneficiaries are active participants of processes that include job and art synthesis. We are glad to know that they are not singled out from society. The APNSC center gave their lives something done for their souls that they can’t live without.”
Stepping into this atmosphere someone might hug you even without knowing your name. The probability that the center might close one day just because of financial problems causes many peoples’ disappointment. Nobody knows who is supposed to solve the fate of these smiles.