Goal of the event:
The purpose of this activity is to show that people with disabilities are capable of doing everything that able bodied people do, and to show that this applies to mobility programmes as well. We want to be able to show them the results of these and other awareness raising events in order to help them understand that this is just another challenge they can overcome
Short description of the event:
The Erasmus students were blindfolded and asked to hold cardboard signs with sentences related to hugs, such as "Can you give me a hug?", "A hug is always welcomed", etc... in English and in Portuguese. The ESNers stood next to them and handed out small cards (these cards had uplifting messages such as "Don't stop until you are proud", "I know loving yourself some days is hard, but you are incredible", "Take a break every once in a while to enjoy the little things in life", etc... in English and Portuguese) to the people hugging the Erasmus. When necessary, the ESNers also encouraged passer-bys to hug.
How did your event go?:
It was an amazing event. We did it on a Sunday, so there were a lot of people on the streets enjoying the day, which meant that we had a lot more passerbys engaging with the Erasmus than expected.
The students were a bit nervous a first, but ended up really enjoying themselves and considered the event a positive experience in terms of raising awareness towards the topic of disability and that allowed them to understand how people with disabilities can do whatever an able bodied person can, just in a slightly different way.
The next time, we'd like to make the purpose of the event more clear, as well as the fact that it is being organized under the ExchangeAbility project, as the main negative feedback we got was that we didn't make that clear enough.
We'd also like to include a short description of ESN and the ExchangeAbility project on the back of the cards, so that the people we hand them out to can know a bit more about the purpose of the project and the event.
Lastly, we will most likely change the name of the event next time, as the use of the word "blind" doesn't comply wth the ExchangeAbility guidelines.