“We are all equal. I want children with disabilities to feel like this, too”
Volunteers are helping teenagers and young people with disabilities to make new friends and take part in creative masterclasses.
Thirteen-year-old Uliana from Rivne, Ukraine believes that everyone is capable of realizing their dreams. That is why she is helping to empower others through the Possibilities Without Limits project.
"We are all equal,” says budding movie director Uliana. “I want children with disabilities to feel like this, too, and to know that we can do everything together, all doors are open.”
The Possibilities Without Limits project helps teenagers and young people who live with various types of disabilities to expand their social circles and take part in creative activities and masterclasses. The project is being implemented within the Sustainability Formula school of the Ukrainian Catholic University, with financial support from UNICEF and the Government of Korea.
A total of 15 teenagers and young people with disabilities, including Down syndrome, are participating in the project, each with two volunteer partners. Together, they share experiences, support each other and learn to interact. They also make new friends – for example, Uliana has struck up a firm friendship with fourteen-year-old Yulia through the project.
“Participants with disabilities have talent – some are into painting, some are into signing, some play sports,” says Nadiia Pyvovar, Head of the Nation of Talents NGO, who developed the Possibilities Without Limits project with her co-workers. “Such people can be an example, their love for life can be an example. They can teach us a lot.”
Over the course of several months, the teenagers and young people will attend various events together. The organizers will also deliver masterclasses to build mutual trust between the participants and volunteers will receive training.
“We are most pleased that the project has given birth to friendship,” says Nadiia. “The participants continue to communicate, wish each other a happy birthday, send gifts and spend time together.”
The most eagerly awaited event in the project schedule is the film shoot. Each team will take part in a social video, in which the story of a teenager or young person with a disability will be the main story.
“We do hairstyles and make-up for the participants,” adds Nadiia. “Many of them will be treated like that for the first time in their lives, so this is a real holiday.”
Once the videos are complete, participants will attend a film premiere, where their work will be presented. And, who knows – one day, some may even win a real Oscar, because their possibilities truly have no limits.
“They are smart, self-confident and ready to follow their goals. I am sure these children can make everything happen. Not everyone has so many goals and goes for them. But our participants have their eyes shining as they talk about their dreams,” Uliana says.