AUKRA (Panorama): Monday, 24 students from HiMolde dedicated some of their time to help organizing an entertaining event for people with developmental disabilities.
By RAPHAELA OSSBERGER (text & photos)
“Dugnad” – a typical Norwegian word without a clean definition, but as soon as you as a newcomer to Norway engage in the social life here, you know what it means – and you realize that it is actually a really precious habit. (See: Dugnad/Wiktionary)
This semester’s Erasmus students, and some international master’s students, got the chance to experience the dugnad spirit at Hollingsholm Gård outside Molde, where the project team of ”Friluftsliv tilrettelagt for utviklingshemmede” (“Outdoor life designed for persons with developmental disabilities”) around Anne Botslangen and Eirik Dahl organized the third event this year.
Usually, they organize an event for people with disabilities once a month and thereby provide them some joyful hours out in the nature around Molde. The project is a cooperation of the Molde and Romsdal trekking association (DNT), the Norwegian Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (NFU), the Friluftsrådet Nordmøre and Romsdal and HiMolde.
Initially, ESN was asked to provide five or six students who were willing to help organizing this event. In the end, an impressive number of 24 of them showed up to set up a variety of outdoor activities such as boccia ball, horseshoe throwing and lassoing a cone.
“Just say ‘Hei!’ and smile!”
With that advice, Anne took all the doubts from the students about the language barrier when it came to interacting with the guests. But just after an initial and passionate tug of war, all inhibitions were gone. Since Hollingsholm Gård is a farm with lots of animals, ranging from chicken to sheep and horses, petting animals was definitely one of the highlights of the day for the participants, as well as for the international students. Live music played by French students and some hot chocolate and juice made the event a very pleasant and enjoyable evening.
More than 150 people literally turned Hollingsholm Gård into a big playground.
“So many happy participants – this is a new record”, Anne delightedly resumed after their first event at the farm – and probably not the last one.