The HOSPITALITY project has been extended for 6 months due to the pandemic

The name chosen was HOSPITALITY, an acronym for Holistic Sport Disciplines for People With Intellectual Disabilitiy, or Holistic Sports Disciplines for People with Intellectual Disabilities. A project with a strong impact of social integration, since its main objective is to make the integration of disadvantaged people its strong point. And it does so through a series of targeted interventions: from promoting participation in unified physical activities of people with intellectual disabilities and personality disorders, implementing through the courses a path of awareness – through mindfulness meditation – that can promote both physical well-being that psychological of the subjects; the design and implementation of a study that allows to collect data and strengthen a cooperation network between the partners participating in the project, so that the members and associations of each region can exploit the synergies and exchanges produced.

However, despite the excellent foundations on which HOSPITALITY is based, the recent CoVid-19 pandemic has caused many logistical difficulties and in carrying out the required activities: precisely for this reason the project, which should have ended in June this year, obtained a 6-month extension. This extension, however, led to a reshaping of the objectives and scheduled appointments, as explained by Roberto Rinaldi – president of the Meetlab association, leader of the project – during the second meeting in the presence that given the presence of the partners involved: the Committee UISP Ciriè Settimo Chivasso – represented by the president Ferruccio Valzano, by the vice-president Lisa Sella and by the Head of the AFA Marina Ottino – the Bulgarian association Courage Foundation, and the Romanian Scout Society. The Croatian association Rijeka Sport is committed to the project, even if not present at the meeting. After the kick-off meeting held in May 2021 electronically through the Google MEET platform, and the first face-to-face meeting in November in Rijeka – during which all the critical issues related to the project were addressed – the second appointment was in fact recently carried out, to be exact from 21 to 23 June in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv.

During the meeting it was possible to visit the Center for Special Educational Support of the city, which accommodates about 130 children with medium and severe disabilities up to 19 years of age. Here boys and girls, divided into groups and according to their inclinations, are initiated into three professions: cooking, carpentry and floriculture, in order to allow them to find a job especially in the municipal area or in small businesses in the area. But in addition to this, the center also carries out art therapy, music therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy and much more. A great opportunity for discussion, which made it possible to compare the different ways of integrating and treating people with disabilities and which offered material for the Good Practices Manual that will be produced at the end of HOSPITALITY. Furthermore, during the visit to the structure, Meetlab and Courage Foundation joined again – as already happened in Castelletto Ticino – to promote a short relaxing gymnastics lesson accompanied by the mindfulness part mainly focused on breathing, in order to promote concentration, but also a greater self-awareness to a small group of young people.