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Mundet students, penitentiary residents and mental patients, together in the Sociosportive Meetings organized by the University

A moment from the opening.

A moment from the opening.

Since the first meetings, in 2003, almost 6000 students have had the chance to know and get closer to these two realities.

Since the first meetings, in 2003, almost 6000 students have had the chance to know and get closer to these two realities.

Painting designed by Iris Salvador Manso and Maria Ballesteros Torrent, 4th year bachelor students in Social Education.

Painting designed by Iris Salvador Manso and Maria Ballesteros Torrent, 4th year bachelor students in Social Education.

Group picture of the Sociosportive Meetings responsibles.

Group picture of the Sociosportive Meetings responsibles.

04/05/2016

This last April Mundet campus held the last Sociosportive Meetings, coordinated by the teacher Merche Ríos, from the Faculty of Education, and dedicated to two collectives that suffer from social exclusion: penitentiary residents and the mentally ill. These sessions, presided by Vice-Rector of Administration and Organization, Carme Panchón, and the Dean of the Faculty of Education, Roser Boix, are promoted by the Faculty and have the collaboration of the Penitentiary Services of Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalan government), Association for the Rehabilitation of People with Mental Disorders (AREP) and the Catalan Federation for Mental Health.

On April 14, the 19th Sociosportive Meeting took place within the Program Aprenentatge Servei UB-AREP. Among the attendants there were Francisco Muñoz, for Federació Salut Mental Catalunya; Joan Sallo, Director of AREP, and Santi Izquiero, member of Centre de dia of AREP.

Moreover, on April 29 the 23th Sociosportive Meeting took place. It created contact between Mundet students and penitentiary residents from Centre Penitenciari Quatre Camins. Miguel Ángel Esteban, head of Rehabilitation Services in the General Direction of Penitentiary Services of Generalitat de Catalunya; Toni Jiménez, sub-Director of Treatment of the penitentiary centre and the residents’ representative participated in the event.


Since the first Sociosportive Meetings in 2003, almost 6000 students had the chance to know and get closer to these two realities. According to Dr. Ríos, teacher in the Faculty of Education of UB and coordinator of the Meetings, “these sessions symbolize a commitment from our university to two social realities which can’t be ignored by our students. Sharing, as colleagues, cooperative games and other sociocultural activities with the members of these centres that withhold freedom and mental health centres- during the whole session implies betting on human rights impulse promoting social justice.


Under the Aprenentatge Servei’s methodology, the session makes an impact not only on the students’ education but also on their rehabilitation, socialization and inclusion processes in these two social sectors”. Ríos highlights that the words of one of the guests were very meaningful. The guest was a mental patient who admitted not having slept the night before due to an overdose of emotions. The words of a resident were also touching when he said that “at the beginning of the session I was too shy to talk to the students but as the activities went on I felt welcomed, respected and valued. Also, I saw I could have fun without drugs”. The meetings are also useful to the students, and one of them sums them up by saying “there are a lot of things learned, the responsibility you have with a group, knowing how to work in a team, developing the critical sense, imagination, autonomy, having self-confidence and feeling it, knowing how to listen and expressing your feelings; I broke some stereotypes related to value judgements and false beliefs towards penitentiary residents and mental patients. And I think the learning has been mutual; both of us have learned”.
 

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