Dobedo. Stimulate resilience by art and creativity.

At M, we believe in the power of art. The museum can be a safe haven, but it can also be a creative place where this voyage of discovery can commence or continue. M seeks to be a place where children and adults can learn life lessons. Indeed, art offers a new perspective on yourself and the world. Art stirs up creativity and playfulness, asks questions, challenges, and opens new vistas.

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.

Andy Merregaert
Andy Merregaert

What was the Dobedo week like?

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.

For an entire week, the children were immersed in the museum and the world of Dobedo. During this adventure, the children explored their dreams, who they are and who they want to be.

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 children thus discovered their own talents and those of others in a playful and open way. On the last day of the week, they presented their talents in the museum to their parents, classmates, families, and the museum staff.

“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
Andy Merregaert
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