A group of managers from Deloitte Slovakia exchanged their office seats for a school garden. Joining hands on Friday, 11 June 2021, they renewed the sensory herb patch and rockery in the Garden for the Blind by the Elementary Boarding School for the Visually Impaired in Bratislava. The June Tulip was also the first ‘sensory’ activity ‘in person’ this year. Association Divadelná Nitra has organised regular integrational activities under the guidance of academic sculptor Elena Kárová within the project A Tulip for You since 2007.
‘Lavender, oregano, thyme, sage and chives whirled through the air when a sizeable group of volunteers employed in Deloitte Slovakia got down to the forsaken patch of plants identifiable by smell and touch in the Garden for the Blind. By noon the garden had been weeded, plants replanted, the rock restored and Braille plant signs repaired. Soon afterwards, groups of children carrying white canes streamed out of the school accompanied by their teachers. Just like the plants – all grown up, different – almost beyond recognition. We greeted each other after a year with long embraces that brought us relief. And then, our great joy from the first major event of more than 45 grown-up and little blind or purblind children spilled into fiery dancing and a thundering drumming with their beloved African friend Thierry, so much that all of Líščie údolie rumbled. Indeed, here in the Tulip it is all about the soul. What else, when the barriers here are so high. That sky which they barely see or do not see at all – they dance it, they beat it on the drums and, in this way, briefly soar up high and find relief from their troubles. After two years of forced hiatus, the June Tulip was hot, joyful and unique for children, managers from multinational offices, teachers, educators and the organisers,’ Elena Kárová described the atmosphere and powerful emotions felt during the June event.
The unchosen break in activities and one year with COVID were not easy for the children nor the project’s organisers; still, this did not prevent them from seeking ways of collaboration and creativity in our online era. One of the amazing results of their work is a video exhibition by the blind Veronika Bajnóciová, titled Working with Clay.