Enchanting ‘magic garden’ for the blind to open near Warsaw
An enchanting new ‘Garden of Senses’ will be built to benefit blind children at a school just outside Warsaw.
The first of its kind in Poland, the ‘magic’ garden will combine smell, touch and sounds to help stimulate the children and give them a better understanding of the world around them.
Expected to be ready in the first few months of next year the garden will be built in the grounds of the Centre for the Care of the Blind in Laski, at an estimated cost of around 700,000 PLN.
The new project will be funded by SHAMIR Polska, a producer of glasses and donations made by the general public.
Aleksandra Kubańska, Marketing & Communications Manager, SHAMIR Polska said in a press release: “We talked with the centre’s charges and their guardians, trying to find out about their needs.
“It turned out that despite many attractions, such as a horse farm or a swimming pool, children lack a place where they could safely commune with nature and discover it by touch, smell and taste.
“Knowing how important the development of other senses is for people who are blind and with the support of our partners, we decided to act and organize fundraising for the construction of the Garden of Senses.”
The garden, which will cover an area of nearly 4,000 m2, will have a variety of zones in which both blind and partially sighted people can navigate safely.
The zones will include spatial orientation, educational, a resting and relaxation zone, a place for tasting the edible things growing in the garden and a horticultural therapy zone.
All the elements that will be used in the garden have been selected based on the way the children can interact with them.
The textures, tastes and smells of the orchards, fruit bushes, flowers, herbs, hedges, cereals, turf with many species of grass, or a tactile map and will include a special avenue to walked barefoot to stimulate the nerve endings on the sole of the foot, giving a full body experience.
Elżbieta Szczepkowska, Director of the School and Education Centre for Blind Children in Laski, said: “We have been talking about building a sensory garden in the Laski Centre for many years, but this project was beyond our financial capabilities.
“We believe that thanks to the involvement of SHAMIR, optical salons and individual donors, we will be able to build a Garden of Senses together. Contact with nature, learning about various shapes and textures teaches concentration, and also improves sensorimotor and visual-auditory coordination.
“The garden will bring our pupils a lot of joy and will contribute to their development on many levels.”
The Centre for Blind Children in Laski was established in 1922 when a Polish nun, who went blind at 22 years old, received a donation of land from Antoni Daszewski. Mother Elżbieta Czacka dedicated the remaining years of her life to helping those who were blind and partially sighted, officially recognized by the Church as a Venerable Servant of God she will be beatified on 12th September this year.
This is only the beginning of SHAMIR Polska’s venture into helping out Polish communities with more projects planned for next year.