PetrSU and Savonia University of Applied Sciences Study Green Care
Petrozavodsk State University hosts Multidisciplinary intensive course on Green Care possibilities for wellbeing and development in rural areas.
The course is organized by the Department of Zootechnics, Fish Farming, Agronomy and Land Management, Department of Social Science and Social Work in cooperation with the Academic Mobility Department and Savonia University of Applied Sciences.
The first steps in the project were made in September 2017 when PetrSU hosted seminar on the development of agriculture and animal husbandry in the Republic of Karelia and Finland, modernization of educational programs in the area of agricultural technologies.
In the framework of the Flagship University Development Program PetrSU is seeking and developing new forms of crossborder cooperation with European partners. One of these forms are intensive courses for international teams of students and teachers, which have gained popularity in this day and age.
“The term “Green Care” means considerate and sensible interaction with animals and nature that benefits people’s health.
In Finland Green Care is a widespread movement supported at the legislative level. It has centers for canis- and hippotherapy, farms developing animal-assisted therapy that work with people with health limitations and elderly people. This is not a new practice for Karelia, but considerably less common and understudied. So this is an interesting topic for the teachers of our university. Currently the educational programs of PetrSU do not have a course on Green Care, but we exchange experience with the colleagues. We already see the interest of cynologists and farmers in studying on the Zootechnics program, so we consider opening extramural program that can possibly include course on Green Care,” said Valeria Sirotinina, one of the managers of the projects on behalf of the Department of Zootechnics, Fish Farming, Agronomy and Land Management.
This time PetrSU welcomed the senior teachers, Masters of Natural Sciences Katriina Pylkkänen and Susanne Hämäläinen with the students of Savonia UAS studying on the programs Natural Resources, Sociology, and Healthcare.
The program of the course features lectures and practical classes, visits to farms, public and municipal educational organizations, which use elements of Green Care. The participants will also study the practices of social, therapeutic and educational effects of canis- and hippotherapy in Karelia.
Among the participants of the course are the students and teachers of the universities of two countries. They will visit the kennel of northern sled dogs “Skify Tour”, special boarding school No. 23, social facilities in the village Beryozovka (Rural Initiatives Development Centre, “Rural Navigator” Resource Centre), the “Kivachskiye Pozhni”, Syamozersk cheese dairy, Staraya Ferma farm in the Dereviannoe village, breed livestock farm in Ladva (OOO Mayak).
By the results the international teams will prepare reports on comparative analysis of using Green Care in Finland and Karelia. The participants of the course will outline prospects for further work, cooperation and development of Green Care in Karelia.
The event took place in the framework of the Soft Security strategic project, the Flagship University Development Program, “Education” national project with the support of the FIRST+ program (Finnish-Russian Student and Teacher Exchange Program).