On October 17, 2019 a collaborative event was organized with the Vocational Training Centre (VTC) to celebrate International Girl-Child day and Children’s Day. This event was hosted for special needs children and youth of Women’s Development Centre and the students at Kandy Girl’s High School (KGHS) to showcase the abilities of special needs children.
The event was a combined effort where children from the VTC as well as the girls from the KGHS participated in different acts in dance, drama and singing. Each act had something unique to offer to the audience, who were in awe and appreciation for their talents.
The event’s main goal was to bridge the gap in people’s understanding of disability and social segregation, and to provide information on gender-based violence faced by girls with special needs as well as highlighting the lack of structures to defend them. Child abuse has consistently been recorded and it showed that girls with disabilities were the most vulnerable, indicating that girls with disability are three times more vulnerable to experience violence than those without disability.
During the event, the audience was given the opportunity to talk about this issue and to come up with solutions to reduce the occurrence of this type of abuse by engaging in important conversations.
Each girl received an individual rose upon arrival to welcome them into their school and was handed a gift at the end of the concert. This gesture left them overjoyed and it was a new experience for the girls as well as a refreshing change for the VTC children.
It was impressive how the young girls from KGHS organized the event and showcased their love and appreciation especially to children with special needs.
Through this event, it was evident that every child, including children with special needs, has a unique set of skills and talents and that it is of utmost importance that talents of these children with special needs are identified with understanding and empathy.