Pedagogy : Mixing & affection
Mentally handicapped people are able to achieve a life project, and are also responsible for their intentions and their actions. But they first are men and women, sexual beings open to love, tenderness and who are looking for an affectionate and sexually active life.
This is the way teams work. For instance, the Sefope department created a complete educational program regarding affectivity and sexuality. There is also the Sid ’Adventure group that seeks to educate people regarding AIDS and ways of protection.
A document named "L'Accompagnement de la Vie amoureuse" is our reference for this topic. It includes the love life’s convention which is also our reference while trying to give handicapped people the possibility to get intimacy’s freedom and to make choices regarding their love and sexual life.
This convention includes procedures and principles that enable each recipient to build up a loving relationship and even commit to a long-run life project.
The couples counsellors’ group gathers staff members who accompany partners that want their help during any stage of their relationship the couple’s forming, maturing, continuation, or crisis and break up. Our institution can acknowledge the couple through two special events; the engagement party and the cohabitation’s council.
50 couples of mentally handicapped people cohabit, either in Neufville or Soignies. Next to these, there are also around 40 couples that have recently been formed or that are stable and that might co-habit in the near future or are willing to be officially acknowledged by the institution.
We must also mention that residents can also be involved in another kind of affectionate relationships, short-long couples focused on sensuality or sexuality, romantic, platonic, passionate couples, etc And we haven’t talked about homosexual relationships yet…