One rarely survives through the trauma of a car accident unscathed. Besides physical injuries such as broken bones, injuries to the brain cause lasting damage. The healing process can take many years and the next step of trying to regain a semblance of normal life and become a useful member of society again can be a painfully slow process. Center Korak (which translates as “The Steps Center”) in Kranj, works with accident victims who have had cranial trauma “step by step” on their path to healing, providing physical therapy, psychosocial rehabilitation and health care. The program consists of neuro-physiotherapy, work therapy, and other stimulating activities.
Sonce v Srcu (SvS) volunteers joined forces with Center Korak in 2005, hosting weekly workshops to help the patients acquire a positive and broader outlook on life through English lessons, travel logs and personal interaction. As the patients progress in speaking and writing English, they also gain confidence in their ability to communicate in the world around them. The study group has been expanding, and now many come to enjoy the fun interactive slide shows and the volunteers’ narratives of travels to various parts of the world, which are now a regular component of these workshops.
For an outside observer, it’s not always easy to understand the depth of the emotional impact that the injuries have had on the individuals, most of whom held normal, independent lives, with families and jobs. Then a tragedy hits, shattering their world and placing them on the long and difficult rehabilitation road. The goal of these programs is to help the injured persons return to the life they knew before and teach them how to live independently again, finding a renewed sense of purpose and joy in living.