“I Will Be” was the title of the exhibition through which children with disabilities in Eastern Ghouta presented their drawings and handicrafts as a gesture of beauty, innocence, strength, and willingness to survive in the shattered world surrounding them.
With high spirit and massive urge to resist, these children insisted on being and challenging the cruel reality.
The exhibition lasted for three days, to end on Monday, November 13.
Lina Bubes, the director of the Special Education Department at the Child Protection Office, supported by “Hurras” (Guards) Network, which sponsored the event, said that the exhibition involved children with intellectual disability (ID), Down syndrome, autism and motor disabilities.
According to Lina, It was difficult for children with autism to participate in the event. However, 12 of them worked with the Office’s educational staff; they made tow collections of artworks on two stages.
The Department’s Director told Enab Baladi about the first stage, which consisted of a number of activities in the summer club between July and September.
The preparations started 20 days before the event. Akram Suwaidan (Abu al-Fawz), an artist who participated in the exhibition’s preparatory stage, said that the idea first emerged as an attempt to start a mini-exhibition for children. “I stipulated that the exhibition should be at the level of Ghouta and that it should present handicrafts, models and drawings by the children,” he told Enab Baladi.
When the children finished their artworks, Suwaidan took the responsibility of finding a way to arrange them during the exhibition. He categorized the drawings according to “ability and innovation,” saying that the handicrafts have been collected in large paintings “to express the story of a child and city or homeland.”
“The exhibition was brilliant in terms of idea and content. Regardless of the presented works since they have been made by children with the help of the staff,” he said.
Mimouna al-Ammar, director of the “Hurras” Network’s southern region, described the exhibition “as a one of its kind at the level of Ghouta, especially as it incorporates children with learning disabilities, the same way it does with their typical peers.”
The Child Protection Department provides children with education, psychological support and life skills. Al-Ammar explains that in cooperation with “Lahen al-Hayat” (Life’s Melody), supported by “Hurras”, children tend to receive individual education and then a supportive one within classes. The department is willing to increase the number of the student from 30 to 40 in the few coming months.
“Hurras” Network began its work in January 2012, as a child protection organization, which deals directly with children and responds to the dangers threatening them; these are the Network’s two main traits.
“Hurras” aims to achieve its vision of creating a world in which children enjoy a safe and a happy childhood in a manner that guarantees their rights according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.