Project Smiling: how to make a crutch fun

The Smiling Project is a solidarity initiative launched by fifty students in their first and second year of their car bodywork training course at the Salesianos School in Matola (Elche). This project consists of using the hydrographic technique to customize orthopedic elements for children and young people, so that the children see them as friendlier, less daunting objects, which can making them smile, improving the emotional well-being of disadvantaged, sick or disabled youngsters. Crutches, wheelchairs and braces, among other devices, can be decorated with the children’s favorite fictional characters.

The idea came from the center itself, when it saw students at the school using some of these devices. “We feel that it is not the same to use crutches because you have had an accident, which is something temporary, as it is to use other less pleasant devices for walking, especially for a child. We all know that sometimes children can be cruel in schools and we started to think about how we could avoid this”, explains Pedro Sempere, the project coordinator. When a child arrives at a school with a special device, everyone looks at them a little strangely. This can affect them psychologically; but if we make these items colorful and add fantasy characters, the opposite will happen, and all the children will love them and they will look at their classmate in a very different way.”

The initiative is an educational innovation strategy that, in addition to customizing orthopedic devices, also aims to help students empathize with the situation and the difficulties faced by these children, so that their training is not only professional, but also compassionate. “It is really motivating for the students, because by making the alterations in the workshop they end up providing a service to society, and it is very good for them to empathize and be personally enriched, while studying their own work.”
https://www.elche.es/2022/06/ la-concejalia-de-sanidadsubvenciona- una-iniciativasolidaria- para-personalizaraparatos- ortopedicos-infantilescon- personajes-de-ficcion/

Celebrating years of saving lives

World Blood Donor Day is celebrated each year on 14 June to thank donors and raise awareness of the need to give blood on a regular basis and ensure the quality, safety and availability of blood for those in need.

Around the world, the international blood donation situation has been severely impacted by the pandemic. The Red Cross in North America, for example, says it is facing its worst blood shortage in more than a decade, and in Spain, a model country in terms of donations, a number of hospitals have already had to delay operations due to insufficient blood reserves.

That is why, in addition to numerous appeals to the public, many countries are running specific campaigns to motivate citizens to come to donation centers: donuts, movie tickets, travel raffles… even the possibility of celebrating your birthday in the donation space. You can bring your family and friends to a decorated donation room, complete with cake and candles. The organizers even take photos and, if the birthday boy or girl wishes, the story is posted on social media so that everyone can find out about the opportunity to celebrate their birthday in such a supportive way.

More information: https://www.donarsangre.org/ cumpleanos-en-la-sala-de-donacion/

Dancing against war

More than one hundred first class artists, including soloists, dance troupes and musicians, make up “Visrky”, the Ukrainian National Ballet company created in 1937 by Pavel Virsky and Nikolai Bolotov, which is internationally renowned and whose repertoire boasts some of the best choreography in the world. They, like thousands of other refugees, have been forced to leave their native country as a result of the Russian invasion. But this has not prevented them from continuing to offer their art and keep dancing, this time for charity: the company has embarked on a European solidarity tour.

The company came to Spain last April to offer two charity performances held in Madrid (Teatro Coliseo) and Barcelona (Teatre Condal). HM Hospitales, Fundación MAPFRE and Mediaset España joined forces in the organization, production and promotion of the two events.

The proceeds are destined to help care for vulnerable Ukrainian children and young people who arrive in Spain with serious illnesses and war wounds. The aim is to help them to deal with the consequences of having to experience first hand such a traumatic ordeal, suffering war and exile.
https://noticias.fundacionmapfre.org/ballet-nacionalucrania- virsky/