Summer 2013 Internships: Aiding Special Needs Children in Bulgaria
Political science and Russian studies major Adam Morollo â€˜14 is spending the summer in Varna, Bulgaria, with the Karin Dom Foundation, in a self-designed internship funded by the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship. In his internship with the Foundation, which promotes the societal inclusion of children with disabilities, Morollo is assisting physiotherapists' work with special needs children through individualized exercises and games that strengthen their ability to do daily tasks. Morollo is also leading small group sessions focused on improving the children's physical ability to interact socially and preparing them for school.
While working with special needs therapy on a small scale Morollo has used his academic background to view the larger issues from a socio-political perspective. Bulgarian treatment facilities from the Communist period, he says, were“purposefully isolated and removed from society, making the objectives of societal integration and socialization nearly impossible.” The Karin Dom Foundation aims to alleviate this problem by hosting informational tours and training sessions for therapists, students, and professors, to encourage the expansion of physical therapy practices throughout Bulgaria.
Before starting with Karin Dom, Morollo went through a training process of his own. He recognized the level of communication required for the position and made learning the Bulgarian language and culture a priority. Morollo credits his academic experience with helping him in the acclimation process.“I quickly adapted and became comfortable and confident in my new workplace, and I owe that to Haverford,” he says.
â€”Shannon Smith '15