The children’s book De reis van Dobedo en van de arend met Hoogtevrees (The Journey of Dobedo and the Eagle with Fear of Heights) by child psychiatrist Greet Dupont and author Peter Verhelst formed the basis for an intense cooperation between M and the Leuven school Mater Dei.
On the occasion of the book’s publication, the Dobedo academy was initiated in the 2018-2019 school year, which helps children to go in search of their identity and mental strength. The children thus discovered their own talents and those of others in a playful and open way. The strength of their capacity for self-awareness, their reflective skills and self-confidence, but also their respect and empathy.
The Dobedo academy was a riveting adventure: the experiences and new insights have now been integrated into existing workshops on resilience that M offers to educational institutions. The beating heart of these workshops are the artworks themselves, the museum rooms and the renewed M studio. A fundraising auction and donations via M-LIFE raised a total of € 32,700 for the arts education project.
The project brought together children, teachers and their parents around the theme of feelings and desires, and in a creative way. They all embarked on a voyage of discovery together at the Dobedo academy.
Each morning, the children started with the same ritual, a short conversation and a few meditation and drawing assignments. They then participated in various workshops either in the museum or in the garden. Circus, music, drawing, painting, dance, healthy cooking… they learned about all this and more. Each day would conclude with a reflective conversation, a yoga exercise and the Dobedo greeting.
“The paintings are more beautiful if you go to the museum more often. Each time I go back, they get more beautiful.” – 1st year pupil
“It made me very peaceful and every time I think about it, I become peaceful again.” – 3rd year pupil
“The project at M changed me because now I am no longer afraid to speak.” – 3rd year pupil
“I am changed … I can be more open now and I can use my imagination more.” – 3rd year pupil
“As a teacher, it was very nice to develop a fun and different connection with the pupils and it was great to see that certain pupils really did open up more during the week.” – Marlies, teacher, 4th year of primary school