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Behind the scenes

It has already been 3 months that, besides my project, I have joined another association here in Arad where I can spend my free time and learn something new. It’s a center where asociatia Integra works with people with mental disabilities, mostly of which are autistic and affected by down syndrom. I usually go there and join the activities proposed 2 times per week, to discover something more about this “world” that I had never met before.

And it is of one of the activities proposed that I want to speak about. Every Wedensday, from 17.00 to 19.00, I have been participating to the theatre workshop that an actor from the pappet theatre is proposing in Integra to the people with down syndrom. When I arrived the first time, it had already started but they were at the beginning so I could easly enter in the activity and understand it.

My role there? A lot of times I was wondering what I was doing there becuase there have been moments in which I wasn’t doing “anything” (I was thinking) because the guys were busy in learning their parts in the play and to present them to the others. ¬†So I was just there, watching them and waiting for the end of the workshop to have the opportunity to interact with them, although with my poor Romanian. But than I realized, speaking also with the other volunteers, that our presence there, in those moments of “nothing doing”, was the door that connected them, living in their own world, to our reality.


This kind of centers are usually isolated from the outside world because they are places in which, for few hours, people who are considered “different” meet among them and spend time togther, playing, having fun and develope their skills, but they never get in touch with the other world, the one which is behind those walls where the “normal” (lots of time I was wondering how to consider this word) life is taking place. I realized, entering the doors of that center that I could be the link between these two worlds¬† so similar but at the same time so different and disconnected.

Having taking part in the development of the play has given me such a great joy when I finally assisted to it played at the art school, during the presentation of the association, in front of a lot of students who were participating and giving motivation to the guys that, sometimes, were emotioned and shy. It has been so good having seen all their efforts, spent during those months, end in such a good play.

I’m glad to have met this new world because it gave me a lot and I’m sure that it will continue to enrich me and to contribute to my personal growth.


Marcello Giampaoletti

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