Ku-kuc Box & Zagreb Zoo

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Ku-kuc! The story is inside

The leading team at the Talk to Me Centre: Ana Mužak, Antonia Čosić and Katarina Lončarić. (Photo: www.pricajmi.hr)

One of the most traumatic experiences a child can have is being hospitalized. However this experience can be a little less stressful for some children in Croatia thanks to the Talk to Me Centre. Talk to Me, headed by a group of young psychologists, has found their niche in helping children overcome the hardships of life through story telling. In particular volunteers go to hospitals and tell or stage stories for children making their stay a little easier. Children, parents and medical staff get involved creating a truly interactive experience.

On their website, Talk to Me says that “drying tears from a child’s face and seeing a smile stretch across teeth that have just come in, is the greatest reward for all the efforts volunteers invest”. The practice has proven so successful that they have taken it a step further with a new innovative idea called the Ku-Kuc box, something that could be roughly translated as a Peek-a-Boo box.

Talk to Me volunteers telling stories to a hospitalized child. (Photo: www.pricajmi.hr)
Ku-kuc! The story is inside.
(Photo: www.pricajmi.hr)

“Ku-kuc! The story is inside” is a product designed for children and adults that puts children’s stories in the spotlight, and, based on a story; it creates a series of suggestions and ideas for interactive play. The story is written as a problem story and, as such, deals with some of the challenges that parents face every day in raising their children. It unites all the contents of the box and encourages mutual activities.

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Talk to Me Secretary Antonia Čosić notes that studies have shown that children under 6 years of age spend an average of three hours a day watching television, which increases the likelihood that they will be exposed to low-quality and harmful content. Ku-kuc provides ideas and materials for children and adults to spend quality time together. In order to develop “Ku-kuc! The story is inside” Talk to Me has taken upon a crowd funding campaign through the indiegogo website.  Early on it has already proven to be quite popular. “Ku-kuc! The story is inside” is available both in Croatian and English.

Zagreb Zoo through the eyes of foreign beholders

Ambassadors of Biodiversity in Croatia at Zagreb Zoo - (PHOTO: saletovic jazz)

With the aim of promoting the importance and beauty of biodiversity as well as to learn a bit more about photography, six ambassadors to Croatia gathered at the Zagreb Zoo earlier this week for Ambassadors for Biodiversity, a project by professional photographer Damir Hoyka.

Chilean Ambassador in action. (photo: Zrinka Lusic)

Ahead of International Biodiversity Day, to be held on 22nd May, six ambassadors to Croatia – Philippe Benoit, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium; Andrew Stuart Dalgleish, Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Tanya Dimitrova Dimitrova, Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria; Juan Luis Nilo Valledor, Ambassador of Chile; Maciej Grzegorz Szymański, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland; and Stavros Tsiepas, Ambassador the Hellenic Republic – gathered at the Zagreb Zoo with the aim of raising awareness about biodiversity issues. Following a crash course in photography by Damir Hoyka, the ambassadors set off to find inspiration of their own.  Chilean Ambassador Juan Luis Nilo Valledor had this to say about the experience.  “I am an amateur and now after this highly professional advice we got I see it is already working. I already feel one step ahead. Also, to be part of this great project, which is part of our job as diplomats, as we have to get to know the country where we live, we can now speak the truth about what we are experiencing.” On 20th May, an exhibition of these photographs will be put up just ahead of International Biodiversity Day at Zagreb’s Zoo.

 

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