TBILISI, October 2017 - “Music gives me energy and power and makes me sing and play”, said Inga Valishvili, a 21-year-old high school graduate who plays piano and metallophone with the paraorchestra, a Tbilisi-based orchestra for young people with disabilities. She joined the orchestra when it launched four years ago.
Inga has a disability, but it doesn’t stop her from living a full life. Making music is a big part of that.
Inga’s musical pursuits have gotten a boost from the communication for social change campaign “See Every Colour”, which was launched by UNICEF in February 2017 to change attitudes towards children and young adults with disabilities. The campaign focuses on showcasing the abilities of children and young people with disabilities. It has been rolled out across the country and has involved thousands of people, including Inga.
The campaign provides a platform for the paraorchestra to demonstrate the abilities of young people. The goal is to counter the widespread myth in Georgia that these people have no abilities of their own and are only dependent on others. Inga’s most memorable moment as a musician came while playing a concert in Kutaisi, west Georgia, this May, when “See Every Colour” launched its regional campaign during the city’s annual festival. “I remember Kutaisi as a very fun place. We were in the street and people were coming up to us. We met a lot of new people”, said Inga.