Social enterprise “Barboleta”

June 19, 2024

“Barboleta”, Jelgava

Learning on the move!

A balance platform as an innovative and efficient tool for focusing attention, motivation, recalling of information and boosting energy in work and learning process. Balance platforms are products for individual use at home or work as well as for training.

Pasta iela 45, Jelgava, LV-3001

+371 29368746

Children who are restless, moving a lot, have poor attention spans, are shy or have low motivation to learn often need help in learning as well as interacting with others. Barboleta balance platforms can be integrated into learning process and are available as a method for professionals as well as an app for families. The method ensures that children have the opportunity to learn by engaging their motor coordination and balance.

“We calculated that if parents have bought this balance platform and it has been used for at least one year, then this activity with “professional” costs 80 cents per day. This is how children can learn multiplication table, foreign languages or reading,” says Baiba Blomniece – Jurāne, the author of the idea.

Moreover, although the method was originally developed for children, demand has grown rapidly and it is now also used for adults, both in rehabilitation centres and retirement homes.

Baiba Blomniece – Jurāne came up with the idea to develop this method and the balance board after thinking about the impact of movement coordination and balance on child’s development and communication. Gradually integrating what she read in various studies and trying out a practical method in her own experience, Baiba started to use it in her work and other specialists became interested in the method. This is how the idea from her own practise grew to a social enterprise.

“Working as a clinical psychologist and educational psychologist in schools, I look for ways to make it easier for children to learn. I was also a special educator and provided help with learning. I started to involve motor coordination. I had studied many types of therapies and realised that we could stimulate the brain with movement,” says Baiba, recalling the creation of the method.

Initially, the team consisted of three specialists, who were taking the appointments for children also from other schools. That was a costly service for parents, says the founder. But the results were good, it helped children learn better. “We realised that parents were even taking out loans to pay for these classes. We felt uncomfortable as we were trying to help but at the same time it took so much from the families, so we decided to look for a solution and found out about social entrepreneurship. Our aim was to generate enough revenue through the sale of balance platforms to be able to help children in need. We succeeded in doing this, we established both a development centre and a kindergarten,” says Baiba Blomniece – Jurāne.

Thanks to Altum grant in social entrepreneurship, both the development centre and the “Barboleta” Smart Platform that works in conjunction with the app have been created.  To make this innovative tool accessible to a wider audience, a Barboleta shop was set up. The app has been designed to make it easier for families and parents to use it at home instead of a lesson with a special educator, thus saving money.

Specialists, teachers, speech therapists and psychologists have training about the method, what it is based on and how to create tasks for the pupils so that the specialists can integrate and use their own materials. “I am teaching the technical part on how to use the balance platforms, and then each expert can use them according to their profession. If it’s a physiotherapist, they use them according to their needs, an occupational therapist, a social educator according to their own requirements. I don’t know everything, I just know what to do with the balance platform,” explains Baiba.

The social enterprise had gradually grown to 30 employees, a development centre and a kindergarten based on the Barboleta method. Baiba Blomniece – Jurāne was its founder, but now she was ready for changes. “Since 1st of November last year, I am working alone in the social enterprise, as I decided to focus exclusively on the development of the balance platform methodology,” says Baiba.

The establishment of the social enterprise has allowed us to help more children, to offer the method to a wider range of people, and currently around 400 teachers from different schools across Latvia are using the Barboleta platform in their work with children.

“Now that I am concentrating only on balance platforms, the goal is to develop the app, to develop wider accessibility so that more and more people can apply the method. At the moment the app is created for children aged 3 to 9-10, but I plan to expand it. All profits will be invested in creating an accessible product for a wider range of customers,” concludes Baiba Blomniece – Jurāne, optimistic about the future.