Updated: Feb 10
“The Puppet as Health Ambassador” workshops in Latvia were initiated and organized by the Israeli embassy in Riga Latvia and took place from the 15-25 April 2016, in Riga, Liepaja, Jurmala, and Daugavpils.
Workshops were translated by Ms. Lolita Thompson, from English to Latvian for all the workshops.
There were 7 one-day workshops, which were up to eight hours a day for 20-25 participants each. The workshops consisted of a medical clown, teachers, psychologists, therapists, nurses and counselors. The topics of the workshop were determined by organizers of the different groups, ranging from domestic violence, puberty, risk taking behavior amongst teens, to hygiene.
The following issues were dealt with:
Hygiene issues and anesthesia – Medical clowns from Dr. Clown Organization
Hygiene issues – Pedagogical staff, social workers & psychologists working with pre-school age children (20 pers.)
Puberty issues – Pedagogical staff, social workers & psychologists working with middle school – teenage children (20 pers.)
Sexual and domestic violence towards children and women – Seminar for specialists from Children SOS Villages, Dardedze Centre and Marta Women Resource Centre. Social workers, psychologists, psycho-therapists (20 pers.)
Puberty issues – Seminar for pedagogical staff, social workers, psychologists working with middle school – teenage children (25 pers.)
Sexual and domestic violence – Seminar for social workers & psychologists working for municipal institutions (up to 25 pers.)
Risk behavior in teens – Seminar for social pedagogues & psychologists working at schools
Introductory content of each workshop was delivered by Dr. Avigail Mayani (an Obstetrician-Gynecologist ).
The content of the second part was presented by the Edu-Puppeteers Rochi Dangour and Nofar Ben-Arie. It included an introduction to puppetry in education, puppet building and manipulation, and creation of short scenarios that were acted out and discussed in front of the group.
Participants created scenes that represented situations of difficulties and dilemmas that they encounter in their work. They addressed sensitive and embarrassing issues with openness, sincerity and also humor.
The power of use of puppets proved itself as meaningful stories with conflicts, pain, humor and lots of feelings emerged.