I want you to think of something you’re incredibly grateful for. It could be anything from access to education to the mere ability to communicate with others. Through your eyes, these may seem like simple things, and these blessings often go unnoticed. However, according to PAW Research Center, the number of children with disabilities receiving the same level of societal inclusivity remains below 15% in many countries.
Pondering over this thought alone gave me the motivation to volunteer with IMC Training Centre for Special Needs. I had the privilege of meeting a fantastic group of children. It was awe-inspiring to look at some of them single-handedly handling a restaurant despite every stereotypical narration imposed on them. That in itself spoke volumes about their talent, dedication, and potential.
I learned that kindness DOES go a long way. Often, we are tempted to discouragingly think, “how will I bring an impact to the world?” It’s a common thought that runs through most of our minds because there’s no standardized measure of how impactful your actions are. Throughout the four weeks of the GFGI project, we were constantly reminded of how much little acts of kindness, such as encouraging the children during workshops, mattered. Hence, I’d like to emphasize that regardless of how big or small your contribution is, they count!
Personally, the highlight of the project was watching parents of these children joining along with them in activities and workshops we organized. Remembering that we used to be a society that shunned anyone who doesn’t fit the “norm”, this is undoubtedly a step in the right direction!
The Get Fit Get Inclusive (GFGI) Team always raises awareness towards the stigmas faced by the special needs children and aiding in their development. They will be running activities in coming August such as webinars, workshops, crowdfunding and video creation to support the initiatives.
Change isn’t something that can happen overnight. Nevertheless, I believe that collectively, we can bring a difference to the lives of these children and many others. If we’ve come this far, we can go further.
Advocacy comes from a place of gratitude and determination; therefore, I believe acknowledging your privileges will be the first step to advocating under-represented communities. Open your eyes to the presence of an invisible line between the haves and have nots. When you do, you will realize that the battle for equality has a long way to go. Hence, use your voice to amplify that of those who are silenced, bring awareness to untouched subjects, and play your part in bringing feasible changes. Advocate for under-represented members of our community, debunk stigmas, and actively cultivate inclusivity.
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Pharmacy student from Monash University
An aspiring writer who loves talking about human rights, inclusivity, and puppies! She is also an active contributor.
*IMC Training Centre has agreed on the usage of the images for the purpose of AIESEC in Malaysia to illustrate the activity conducted during the project