In Izhevsk there is an "Inclusive Kitchen" for people with disabilities with mental and intellectual disabilities
Four times a week for four hours, the space of the culinary studio "Vilka" turns into a place where the forces of good are concentrated: at the suggestion of the Association of Parents of Disabled Children of the Udmurt Republic with the participation of the Silver Volunteers of Izhevsk and with the support of socially responsible business, that is, the studio itself, the project “Inclusive Kitchen“ Yes! Can!". Since the beginning of November, 12 children aged 18 and over, suffering from mental and intellectual disorders, under the guidance of an experienced mentor, master the basics of culinary skills.
In addition to classes with the main group, Inclusive Kitchen conducts one-time master classes for children who have not been included in the project: ten people become their participants every week. "Inclusive Kitchen" loves to receive guests: the deputy head of the Izhevsk administration, a deputy of the Izhevsk City Duma, a policeman, a blogger, TV journalists have already visited the "Vilka" to support special children in their desire to learn how to cook. Last week, a journalist from Udmurtskaya Pravda also dropped in at the culinary workshop.
Master classes at the Inclusive Kitchen are conducted by the master of industrial training Lyubov Veniaminovna ROZHINA. Under her guidance, the guys master the technology of cooking a wide variety of dishes: salads, soups, dumplings, pizza, etc. The mentor, who has devoted more than a dozen years to the training of cooking professionals (now Lyubov Veniaminovna is retired), does not lower the bar when communicating with the participants of Inclusive Kitchen, she uses her usual terms: "chop", "pass", etc. But at the same time, classes are held in an easy playful way, and so that the children are always interested, the mentor gives the basics of cooking under one or another "thematic sauce". For example, from 8 to 13 February "Inclusive Kitchen" together with the whole republic celebrated "Pelmenfest", and starting from February 15, its participants got acquainted with the Udmurt national dishes.
Mentor notes that progress is evident. If at the beginning of the project the guys could only wash the vegetables, now they already know without prompting in what sequence certain actions should be performed, what products and in what quantity are needed, in what order they should be added to the dish.
- I work here for the soul. Children are special here: they are so kind! This kind of friendship is not always found among ordinary guys. They are also very curious. Of course, the difficulty is that they often forget what I explained to them, so we have to repeat the operations that we performed, but the desire to learn how to cook from them is enormous, ”said Lyubov Rozhina.
Of course, working with children suffering from mental and intellectual disabilities has its own characteristics, and "Inclusive Kitchen" is possible only with the participation of a professional defectologist. He gives the master of industrial training his recommendations, taking into account which the communication with the project participants is built. Since some of them are not familiar with numbers, cannot read or write, after the completion of the master classes, each of the children will receive a recipe book, the contents of which will be presented in the form of pictures.
- We were faced with the fact that during the long New Year holidays everything was forgotten, and we seemed to start from the very beginning, - the executive director of ARDI UR Elena MUKHAMETDINOVA explained the necessity of the recipe book. - The guys know how to navigate by pictures.
In addition to culinary skills, the project “Inclusive Kitchen“ Yes! Can!" opens up other opportunities for its participants. Of course, this is social adaptation. The children's mentor Lyubov Rozhina noted that at the beginning of the project they were very constrained, and now they react to each other vividly and are more open to guests who visit the Inclusive Kitchen. Izhevsk resident Oktyabrina notes that communication with the project mentors and other guys charges her daughter with the desire to do something. After the master class, she wants to cook the same dish at home and feed mom and dad.
The project gives the guys a chance to surpass themselves in some way. During the time the workshop has been working, some of them, for example, like Yulia, have learned how to get to the “Fork” on their own. The project participant lives in the area of the Agricultural Exhibition, and at first her mother brought her to classes in the culinary workshop. Over time, together they began to do only part of the way, and then Julia learned to do without her mother's help at all.
"Everything will work out!" - throughout the master class, nineteen-year-old Ilya repeats every now and then. The main thing is not to doubt the success of these guys. It doesn't matter that everyone will have their own victory. Half of the project participants will, to one degree or another, develop culinary skills that a person needs every day, the other six will go further and this year will take part in the Abilympics regional championship of professional skills among people with disabilities. Moreover, these six will become pioneers, because from the moment the championship is held in the republic, disabled people with mental disabilities have never taken part in it.
- We are developing the story with Abilympix not only to show that children with mental disorders can also do something. After leaving school, they essentially find themselves in social isolation. Today colleges are engaged in teaching only people with a mild degree of mental retardation, for the rest of the disabled with mental disabilities there are no offers. Our task is to at least slightly influence this situation. It is necessary to expand the list of specialties that such children can receive, so that upon leaving school they have a wider range of opportunities than now, - comments Elena Mukhametdinova.
Permanent, inclusive workshops could be one of the ways to solve this problem.