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Every Journey Counts Working with a charity and taking a look around. Just enjoying meeting people and living a different way of life with new challenges.

Meeting the Epic Team

CAMBODIA | Thursday, 10 February 2011 | Views [528]

Well, where do I start? I had a fantastic and challenging time volunteering for an arts charity in Cambodia called EPiC Arts ( Every Person Counts).

It was great to finally meet the team at Epic and everyone is very nice. The centre is overlooking the Bokor mountains, where you can watch the dramatic changes of the sky taking place as the day progresses, which emulates the rapid development of the students. My house is a short ride (2 leisurely minutes) to the river, which is beautiful!

I observed two workshops on my first day. One was the peace class with children with special educational needs and the second in the afternoon was with a group of deaf students teaching blind children circus skills and then playing games which, I think, helped to develop their spatial awareness. Working in pairs to find their way along a rope they had to stop in the middle when they felt a knot then jump and run to the end. Each time they repeated it they became much more confident and fluent with their movement.

The next week I hung out with some of the vtp students. I learned Khmer sign language which was easier than learning Khmer and it's great to be expressive again.

Recognised for my skills as an Artist, I worked with the SEP team (Special Education Programme) helping them to develop teaching resources for the core skills and art and design aspects of the Special Education programme. I also supported the work of students on the Vocational Training Programme to develop a visual diary and instruction manual for art workshops in schools and the wider community helping to advocate disability awareness. Most of the students in the Vocational Programme were deaf and there was one wheelchair user. They all had incredible talent as both performers and teachers and despite having limited or no formal education (some have only 2 years at a deaf school, some no 'formal' education, as school just wasn’t made accessible for them). However, they take on every challenge with imagination and individual flair!

All the people I worked with were so open and taught me so much with their energy and enthusiasm. And I thank them all and look forward to seeing them again soon!

More reading:

EPiC article: An inspiring interview with Epic’s co-founder, Katie Goad.

http://www.asialifeguide.com/PP-Life/dancing-with-katie.html

See Ability not Disability!

'A release of inhibitions, starting from scratch' My first day signing.. learning my name.

For more information about the workshops:

http://gemmalowe.wordpress.com

Tags: performance, schools, teamwork kep

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