Network Empowering Puppetry
2019 – 2022
Kauno University of Applied Sciences (Lithuania – Coordinating Institution), Tartu Health Care College (Estonia), P. Stradins Medical College of the
University of Latvia (Latvia), HAMK University of Applied Sciences (Finland), New Generation of Women’s Initiatives (Lithuania)
Overall aim of the network is to educate very flexible and open minded specialist who may be involved in therapeutic puppetry development and use.
Project is planned for 3 years with various activities. First year – create long lasting network of HEIs and organizations. Network development is followed by
intensive course. The aim of intensive course is to enhance cooperation between different study fields – from technologies to arts and social sciences in order to develop creative thinking, entrepreneurial competences and provide better opportunities in labour market through encouragement of team work,
interdisciplinary approach and International cooperation.
The objective of the IC is to promote student’s skills in problem solving and service development in a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment.
Through the IC both the contents and methodology is tested and developed further to create a study module which can be applied later on. Main innovative aspect is strong multidisciplinary approach and insights into problem from various positions.
IC is planned for 3 years cycle. 1st year is dedicated to explore possibilities of therapeutic puppetry for the children with oncological deseases who often have
traumatic experience and troubles expressing themselves. Second year will be dedicated to people who are suffering from substance abuse and 3rd – to young offenders.
Nordplus Higher education 2019, NPHE-2019/10244
P. Stradins Medical College of the University of Latvia
Kauno University of Applied Sciences
Meeting of NORDPLUS project partners (2021)
Ina Vīksniņa, Head Social Care Department of P. Stradins Medical College of the University of Latvia and Ina Ozola, study methodologist, from 07. to 08.10.2021. participated in the partners meeting of the NORDPLUSS project “Network Empowering Puppetry”, which was organized in Hameenlinna, Finland.
The aim of the meeting was to plan further activities in 2021 and 2022 for project participants and students who will be involved in intensive course training.
During the visit to Finland, the participants visited Hameenlinna University of Applied Sciences, participated in master classes related to the use of dolls in therapy in work with clients. The guest lectures were led by communication lecturer and artist Riku Laakkonen and art therapy lecturer, puppet artist Anna–Lisa Tarvainen. The first stage of the NORDPLUSS project “Network Empowering Puppetry” was implemented in the autumn of 2020, which involved project partners - Kaunas College, Lithuania, Tartu Health Care College, Estonia, HAMK, Finland, and LU PSK, Latvia. The next meeting of the project participants is scheduled for April 2022 in Tartu Health Care College, Estonia.
IC in Tartu Health Care College (2022)
"This is the first time I have participated in such a project. The project provided a lot of good things - both professionally and privately. International friendship and communication, ice-breaking activities, lectures, practical classes, experience stories. All this not only provided professional development and improved language skills, but also allowed me to see many things in myself... it showing me clearly why I chose to study this profession.
One of the most important thing for students as young professionals, was meeting with former addicts. Their life stories were very empowering. The stories of how they got into addiction were very meaningful and enlightening. I think that everyone should hear the stories of these people's experiences so that they do not end their life in this situation. And we, as future social workers, will be able to use these stories in our work with clients.
I hadn't thought before that puppets could be used in so many different ways when working with people. I hadn't thought that this also can be a way to empower people and help them in crisis. I was very surprised by what I saw. Many thanks also to the leader of the puppet-making class. The puppet-making techniques were very interesting and I think I will use them in the future.
The group work of meeting clients and also making stories for the end was an exciting process. I think this was wery good and necessary for the students (seeing addiction from a completely different perspective) and maybe also for the clients (as their stories can be very instructive in protecting other people from addiction).
I would like to thank the organisers very much for inviting the actors/clowns. These sessions were full of respectful relationsof, goodnedd and kindness.
The programme was very well thought out and brilliantly organised. The other organisational issues were also perfectly organised and made all the participants feel welcome and created excellent conditions for the whole project to function. Many thanks to the organisers!"
Baiba Rozevska, study program "Social Care"
"This “Empowering puppetry” course was something new for me and out of my comfort zone. This was big challenge for me.
Every day I learn something new and gained new experience. The ice-breaking mornings were very good to get to know each other. This method could be used in the future to get to know clients, work with children, or seniors in care centers.
I learn more new about how to make puppets in many different ways. In the future I see that I could use it at my work. With puppets help we can learn a lot about people. The way the persons family problem was discovered with the help of puppets also affected me. And it was unpleasant part of this course for me. The positive thing is that I learned something new about myself as well.
During these courses I had the opportunity to improve my language skills, learn about the specifics of different countries’ cultures and social work.
The big benefit was that we had the opportunity to meet a former addict and hear his story. Working in a team with students from other countries and creating a story about a client’s addictions was an exciting process. Would like to know the client’s thoughts on how we have shown his story.
Would like to thank you for such a good reception and an educational week."
Diana Karki, study program "Social Care"
Project meeting in Finland (2022)
In the beginning of the new academic year, 5 - 9 September 2022, in the framework of NORDPLUSS project “Empowering Puppetry” lecturers Kristīne Vītoliņa and Alīna Anna Pitkeviča from the Department of Social Care of P. Stradins Medical College of the University of Latvia together with study programme “Social rehabilitation” 2nd year students Evija Deribo, Kristīne Šulberga, Gerda Matisone and Indra Nīmane participated in the final project activity in Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK), Finland.
Together with cooperation partners from Kauno Kolegija (Lithuania), Tartu Health Care College (Estonia) and HAMK (Finland), students participated in master classes, which were conducted by drama therapist Marja Susi, Communication lecturers and artist Riku Laakkonens and Art therapy lecturer, puppet artist Anna–Lisa Tarvainen. The purpose of the project meeting was the application possibilities of puppet theatre in intercultural communication. The lecturers demonstrated how everyday and ordinary things can become an element for promoting communication.
The skills acquired in the master classes were applied while working in an international team, with participation of project cooperation partners and HAMK students, who had chosen this university as their place of study, creating their final work – a performance on the topic "The story of a person's life".