From November 27th to December 4th, we participated in the training Course » PDA kreARTivity » in Osijek, Croatia. It was our first ever Erasmus+ experience, and we could not have been more pleasantly surprised. The program was about the therapeutic qualities of dance/movement, painting and drama.
There were participants from Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, Portugal, Georgia, Denmark, Curacao, Armenia and Italy. We had an unforgettable and unique experience. We met incredible people, all from different places, habits, experiences, cultures and mentalities. We were all so different but also similar at the same time. What united us most was our human side, our sensibilities, our willingness to help other people, and the planet we live in, our thirst for knowledge, our creative aura and our hope and effort for a better future.
The program was intensive, but not even once did it get boring or tiring. In the creative process of learning, we were also constantly having fun. We had classes from early in the morning until late in the afternoon. The first two days we started with dance therapy, with the remarkable Antonia, who tried through movement to teach us how to interpret the behaviors of individuals and how to manage it. In particular, we focused on how you can heal and guide people with special needs through dance therapy. We continued for the next two days, with art therapy, with the guidance of the incredibly experienced Yasmina. We created drawings, paintings, collages and masks which for each one of us had a different interpretation of our inner world. We learned what each and every thing we created meant, how we could interpret another person’s creation, and help them for the better.
Drama therapy followed, with the sweet Maya, who through theatrical games and various exercises, gave an explanation of the therapeutic ways of theater. The last day, was the workshop day. We seperated into groups and practiced everything we had learned these past few days in action, to people we did not know.
Despite the demands of the program, this whole experience was amazing. There were so many interesting topics, wonderful trainers and people. Everything was perfect. We obtained unconceivable knowledge, worked with our minds, bodies and our spirit, and came out better people.
In and outside of the program every detail was thought out, with Sanela, the woman in charge in Croatia, always making sure we were okay and all of our needs were met. The program also didn’t lack diversity, with age groups ranging from 18 to 70 years old, and each and every one of them was special. I have learned something from all of them. We were interacting beautifully and all learning from each other. All of them had a thirst for learning, with many sensibilities and a willingness to help this world become a better place. All nurtured with values such as respect, solidarity, understanding and empathy. We truly became a family. We bonded as if we had known each other for years. We shared personal experiences, traumas, anxieties, worries. We helped and understood each other. These 8 days we never felt alone.
But one of the most beautiful things to bloom out of this program was the relationship we formed with ourselves. We went to learn how to help others, but this whole time it felt like we were helping ourselves. We felt free to feel, to ache, to cry, to laugh, to create, to speak, to listen and to learn. We experienced healing. Through art, came serenity. This program changed us.
We are incredibly grateful to have had this opportunity. Thank you.