Everywhere We Go! – Slovenia, October 2017 (Donation 65)

By June Callison…

For the donation in Slovenia, the steering group decided to choose a charity called
Drustro Bravo, based in Llubljana. The main purpose of the association is to help
children and young people (pupils, students) with specific learning difficulties by
providing support to parents, teachers and counselors. Their aims are to:

  • create optimal conditions for the education of children and adolescents with specific learning difficulties;
  • organise and promote activities that allow optimal intellectual, emotional and social development of children and adolescents with specific learning difficulties;
  • promote the development of instruments for checking abilities and skills and the
    development of therapeutic forms of work with children and adolescents with specific learning difficulties;
  • help implement the statutory rights for specific learning difficulties.

Graeme Baxter had made the original contact with the charity, speaking to the president, Marija Kavkler, who gave us a very detailed breakdown of their plans for the £5000 we would be donating in a letter, copied below. When Graeme could not make the actual presentation, I took over on the day.

We were to meet Marija along with other charity representatives at Hostel Celica, where
the children regularly go to take part in various activities. Myself, Monica and Neil were
joined by some keen Scots and the piper, Mark Love, who kindly offered to play. On
entering the building we immediately noticed a poster on the door announcing the
donation and was then overwhelmed by the amount of staff and media stood waiting for

Marija welcomed us and we were led into the room where the children were working. We did the formalities early on, with some speeches and the cheque presentation. We were them surprised by the manager of the hostel who took us on a tour of the building, which had been a former prison. There we learned how the building had been transformed by local and worldwide architects and designers. We were all very impressed with the front door which doubled up as a sun dial! We were also told about the work the hostel do with the charity, providing a space for the children to learn and play. The tour continued to the shower rooms, where a half naked kilted Scotsman got a good shock when he walked out to see us all in the corridor! (I must mention at this point I realised I knew said Scotsman having met him that year in a hotel bar in Rotterdam at the woman’s Euros!).

After the tour, we met some of the children where they showed us some films they had
been working on. We had some photos taken and the children took turns to try out the
bagpipes. We then finished the afternoon with a feast of traditional Slovenian food and
drink, including some marvelous cakes that ended up being stuffed into a sporran for
later in the day!

It was a fantastic experience where we were welcomed with open arms, and again hits
home why the Sunshine Appeal is an important part of the Scotland away experience.
Thanks to all of those who joined us for this donation and to all the fans who keep
making this possible.

Link to items in the Slovenian media

Letter from Marija:
We are very pleased about your decision to donate 5.000,00 £ to our association BRAVO. With your donation, we will be able to organize and carry out the activities listed and described below.
All of them are important for the children and adolescents with specific learning difficulties because they enable better development of their potential. 
List of activities:
1. Typing course for children who have dyslexia and dysgraphia (1)
Anyone who regularly uses a computer understands the need to be able to type quickly and accurately to organize note. Children with dyslexia and dysgraphia are not always be able to have legible handwriting and more important to be able to do good note of their school subjects.
Computer is a great tool for dyslexic children and it is important to become familiar and confident with using the computer as quickly as possible. Researchers have also shown that learning to type early on, in the first few years of schooling, can benefit students’ reading, comprehension, vocabulary and spelling skills.
The main goal of the course is to offer children with dyslexia the possibility to learn typing.  The course will be mentored and leaded by one experienced typing tutor who is teacher from middle school for economic.
Target group:   Children – age: 11 to 14
Setting:   middle school
Number of participants: 8 to 10
Costs: 18 hour (1 to 2 hour per week) – 1.100 €

2. Typing course for children who have dyslexia and dysgraphia (2)
The main goal of the course is to offer dyslexic children the possibility to learn typing.
The course will be mentored and leaded by one experienced typing tutor who is teacher from middle school for economic.
Target group: Children – Grade 6
Setting: middle school 
Number of participants: 8 to 10
Costs: 56 hour (2 hours per week) – 1.844 €

3. Workshop of computer 3D environment programming for Children with SpLD (Specific Learning Difficulties) – Dyslexia
The workshop is designed specially for children and youngsters with specific learning difficulties, mainly with dyslexia. The main objective of the workshop is to offer the children with SpLD the possibility to gain motivation, learn creativity, learn more about the art of writing and illustrations and basic skills of computer programming. Motivational process aims to create a 3D computer game. Children try to use their orientation in 3D space using a rich gallery of 3D objects. Software that is used is called
Alice and is as a free gift for public from Carnegie Mellon University www.alice.org/index.php . 
Association Bravo have had already many successful workshops on this topic. The children and their parents were extremely excited about completely new approach to IT.
We intend to conduct 5 days in row for 2 hours per day of our Workshop.
Schedule and Program
Day 1: Each child writes his own short story using Word, Writer and similar software. In case he or she can’t write than use some of our common stories. 
Day 2: Children make sketches for their stories with hand and pencil.
Day 3: Children make illustration for their stories with Alice, and screenshots copy to the text.
Day 4: Children create simple animation with Alice and record movie. All based on their story.
Day 5: Children try to create simple codes with Alice depends on their abilities.

Target group: Children – age: 10 to 15 
Setting: Local school with computer classroom
Number of participants:  10-12
Cost:  851,18 €

The work shop will be mentored by experienced mentor in the field of IT. 

4. Production Workshop of Animated Film for Children with SpLD (Specific Learning Difficulties) – Dyslexia
The workshop is designed specially for children and youngsters with specific learning difficulties, mainly with dyslexia. The main objective of the workshop is to offer the children with SpLD the possibility to discover their own strengths through the creative process of making an animated film and to encourage creativity, critical thinking, autonomy in creating and team working. Through the creative process children will develop problem-solving strategies in the field of planning, learning, reading, which
are given through active, targeted creative process.Association Bravo and The Elephant have already several times successfully collaborate. Some short workshops have been successfully carried out and supported by the resources acquired through the public tenders. This time we intend to conduct 5 days in row for 4 hours per day Production Workshop of Animated film.

Schedule and Program
Day 1: Together we will make up a story, wright a scenario and make a storyboard which serves us as the scheme frame for the further work. The whole process will be performed as a team work respecting the suggestions and proposals of all participants and all the ideas will be interweaved into one coherent story.
Day 2: Next day the children will create the characters and backgrounds for the animated film. At this stage the children will be acknowledged with different art techniques and basics of film language to enable them to start work of creating. To each child is given his/her own character or background to perform. At this stage of the process the work is more individually performed.
Day 3 & 4: Both days are entirely dedicated to animation. The children get acknowledged with the software programmes and the technical equipment for the animation and learn to use them.
Day 5: All the noises and sounds needed later in post production for the animated film will be recorded. If any of participants perform any kind of instruments the music will be recorded and later incorporated in to the film, all other sounds and noises will be performed in other creative and inventive way (body, whistling, etc.). At this stage we present to the children the work of foley artists and they also get acquainted with some examples.
Screening and participation on the international film festivals

All the participants, their parents and friends will be after the workshop invited to premiere screening. The film will be sent to international animation festivals for children in the following year. 
The work shop will be mentored by two experienced mentors of “Društvo za izvajanje filmske vzgoje Slon” (The Society for Film Education Elephant) Andreja Goetz (academic painter) and Lene Lekše (art student at University of Ljubljana).
The main concern of The Elephant Society is to raise the interest for the animation film of higher quality and to give the children and youngsters the opportunity to get acquainted with the process of creating and thus develop their creativity. 
Lene Lekše who once used to be the participant is already active as the mentor and the artist on the field of animation of films.
Target group: Children – age: 8 to 12
Number of participants:  12
Costs:  1.149,10 €
Other expenses (up to 818 €)
• Preparation of invitations, leaflets, 
• Written material, 
• Material for certificates of completion of courses: paper, ink cartridges and other necessary office supply
• Postage
• Accounting Services
• Technical support
• Rental of premises.

Dr. Marija Kavkler
The president of Association Bravo