For two hours a week, these students in Kampot, Cambodia get to express themselves through the arts. I went along recently to the project and saw how much fun students were having with paint, glue and a lot of empty water bottles.
“I feel very happy to join the Arts In School activities. I think this workshop support to me learn at government school such as to create something new, and give me different skill. I want the arts workshops to continue. ”
During the workshop I noticed a group of children crowding around one of the Arts Leaders, Teuly. The excitement of the children is not because they are curious about his amputated legs, but because they want him to help them with their work.
Teuly told me “ It makes me feel so confident that they want me to help them. I believe that they see me not my disability.” One of the reasons we run community projects is so that children have positive interactions with people who have disabilities. We believe our Arts Leaders can change negative attitudes and perceptions through being positive role models. You can see this is happening in the way the students interact with the facilitators, who all have a disability.
At the end of the session the children ran out of the school with huge grins and clutching their plastic creations ready to take home to show their families. Whilst chatting with the children they echo this sentiment, one student told me “I feel so happy but now I want to do Arts twice a week” I asked him why and he simply said “It’s fun and it helps to support me to learn at school.”
We see this love for learning everyday on our Inclusive Education Programme for children with & without disabilities because when there is time for creativity and fun, children want to come to school.