Last weekend we visited Baan Yuu Suk which is run by an organisation called COSA. This was the first time I and the other volunteers were to meet. I didn't know what to expect and was feeling rather nervous especially since it was my project they will be doing. The project was Journal Bookbinding, the girls were to bind their own books which they will use as a journal. The thing that made me nervous was that there was 21 girls at this home……. Aged 5-18!!
We have done bookbinding at ARI before with the other groups but they were all little books, this project I wanted them to make a book full of pages that would actually last them a good while before they fill it up.
Considering I had to learn the process of bookbinding myself first (I followed the Coptic stitch bookbinding method), I had no idea how well they will pick up this new skill, and with such a vast age range I was concerned if this projects was appropriate for this group.
However I still really wanted them to make and have a Journal as its would be psychologically beneficial to them, give them a new skill and would provide and outlet for creativity.
After a long week preparing the covered and the signatures, including hole punching everything we was finally done, ready and on our way. When we arrived I got even more nervous as I could actually see the massive age difference between the girls, but we got started anyway and we had a good number of volunteers with us to assist.
When we began to show them how to bind their books, I was pleasantly surprised (and relieved) how quickly they were picking the binding up. Everyone understood the task and were making their journals swimmingly. Even more surprising was the speed of some of the younger girls who seemed to finished way ahead of everyone.
In the end the project was a success and everyone finished their books in time, decorated the covered with fancy paper and used their creativity to really personalise their new diaries. We even provided them with Journal prompts to encourage journalling and to even give them some questions they may have not asked themselves before.
The girls had fun and so did we, overall a successful workshop.