Through art to integration of disabled children
“Have a look! It turns out so beautiful!” - Renata says gaily drawing a dolphin with her finger. Nine years ago the girl was born with inborn abnormality of hands. She has 3 fingers only but this fact does not prevent her from drawing, modeling and being a winner at international contests. “When I am drawing or sculping, Renata says, - I forget about missing fingers. I think that the fingers I have are magic”.
In Uzbekistan with population of over 25 million people there are about 125 thousand children with physical impairments, while the number of rehabilitation and integration centers is incomparably small. 1000 disabled children and 56 social workers fall per a center, and thus many children are not covered. Among disabled children there are many gifted and talented ones but the abovementioned problem and insufficient number of adequately trained teachers and social workers poses barriers to physical and spiritual development of children.
Renata Karimova among over hundred of children does not suffer the fate of many other peers. Having come to the “SANVIKT” art rehabilitation Center, the children get opportunities for developing their creative abilities and communicating with healthy peers. “It is impossible to solve a problem of disabled children integration into everyday life without joint education and communication”- says Gulsara Rajapova, the Center Director. “It is a valuable opportunity for healthy children to learn to be tolerant, surmount deep-rooted prejudices and to look widely on life”, -she added.
For many children staying with the Center is the opportunity for developing their creative abilities, increasing their capacities, acquiring necessary life skills and knowledge for the future realization of their potential.
“We are like parents for children. We learn and play games together. We are really a family”- Gulsara says. Children who come to the Center from children’s homes, particularly, do not want to go away in the evenings. The Center charges say that one girl after she had been given a home assignment went into hysteric as she thought that she would never be brought to the Center again. It was difficult to calm her down. The girl says that her parents do not often take her home from the children’s home and here in the Center she feels attention and good treatment and it is very interesting for her to stay in the Center. She comes back to the children’s home, goes to bed and gets up with thoughts of the Center. “I’m afraid that they will take another girl instead of me”, - she expressed her anxiety.
Communication with peers, joint creative work and problem solving arouse a lot of positive emotions which in themselves are a perfect means for integration of disabled children into society.
UNICEF supports the activities of the SANVIKT Center as well as other projects aimed at integration of disabled children into society.