MUCH MORE project partners from Gävle, Turku and Riga gathered together in Riga on a study visit on 16-17 October to share the gained experience in working with men with past addiction problems, exchange ideas for peer group activities and discuss the plans for further actions.
During the days in Riga, the international project team had the possibility to participate on site visits, offered by the hosts of Riga. The first site visit took the team to a social rehabilitation center called NOVA VITA. The visit began with an introduction of the Betlehem Charity House by Dana Anskaite and Liga Roke-Reimate. NOVA VITA offers a rehabilitation program for addicted adults. A multiprofessional group is working with the men to offer them support through the daily program.
Work and social issues, health and relationship problems and topics like self-worth, identity and values are daily issues, which are being processed among the men with the help of professionals. Men live in a shared the community and they are being encouraged to develop their practical skills in every-day and spiritual life. As taking the tour around the building, partners could meet some of the men, have a chat with them and ask about their feedback towards the MUCH MORE project. Men said that they are particularly happy with the cooking classes and one men said that the physical activities “brought him to life”.
Next stop at the social rehabilitation center RATNIEKI, which is located outside of the city of Riga. The rural surroundings of the center impressed the project team right away. RATNIEKI was established in 1998 and since then it has been the base for the men participating the MUCH MORE project.
Also in this center, men have a daily schedule to be followed. Sports, different kind of wooden work, cooking classes and several other kind of activities are offered by multiprofessional team of therapists, social workers, artists etc. One of the most impressive concrete achievements of the team work at the center was clearly a residential cottage which the men have built together. Again, the team had the possibility to get to know the facilities of the center, have a little chat with some of the men and see how men are living.
Additionally, there are more exciting things happening in the MUCH MORE project: a video clip about the project is under development! It will offer you a short insight into our project by showing an interview with the partners, describing the project in shortcuts and letting the professionals know what the peer-group activities bring to the work with the difficult-to-reach target group.The video clip will be published soon on our webpage, don´t miss it!
There was a crowd of people from all round the world discussing and learning about the projects and achievements of participating associations, organizations and cities, which are presented in posters at the International Healthy Cities Conference 2018 that took place 1-4 October at Waterfront in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The moderate poster walk was one of the multifaceted and interesting program of the conference.
Iina Lenz, the project coordinator of BRHCA took part of the poster walk among many others by presenting the MUCH MORE project. That was an opportunity for the other conference delegates to get to know more about the presented projects. Questions like how men experienced the activities, if cooperation partners do learn from each other´s experiences during the project and if the project has really reached men to participate, occurred during the walk.
“Gladly we can announce that we have reached a group of men in all partner countries and have received positive and constructive feedback from them. Thanks to MUCH MORE, men had a possibility to take part in designing and developing the activities together with the professionals. We have been in an intensive cooperation among the partners and have had interesting discussions about the achievements and challenges to develop more interesting and more empowering activities for the target group.” Iina reported.