It takes a village to raise a child

Farist holding up his completed self-portrait. By – Stephanie Singh.

I went to sleep yesterday thinking that the day could not possibly be topped. Well after today, I know that each day gets better and better!

Today we travelled to the village of Manggungiaya to visit a school where the IDEAL programme has been implemented by Save the Children. The IWitness ambassadors were divided into groups and we were able to teach different classes. I was with a Grade 5 class, where Princess and I showed the students how to create self-portraits of themselves using mixed materials.

Princess and Stephanie teaching a Grade 5 class. By – Aisha from Save the Children.

The children were so incredibly talented and, even though we did not speak the same language, it was so easy to help them and work together. Their laughter and smiles will forever be in my heart.

Incredible talent!
By – Stephanie Singh.

In the afternoon, we walked through the village with the students where we saw their beautiful homes and rice fields. We ended the tour at the home of Fatur, where we learned more about how crucial the IDEAL programme is to this community.

Before the programme, Fatur was not in school and often just stayed inside his home. His family did not know how to best support him and his needs. Now that the programme has been implemented, Fatur goes to school with the rest of the village children and his family attends therapy sessions with him. The entire village is so supportive of Fatur and the stigma around disability is declining. Fatur is a beautiful child whose light can shine bright thanks to the programme.

Fatur and Stephanie sharing a special hug. Photo taken by Fatur’s sister.

Today I made some really special bonds with the children of this incredibly welcoming and warm village. I feel so absolutely lucky to be here. I would not have met these children if it were not for the IWitness programme. I feel so proud to work for a company that truly cares about the children in this world who need some extra support to have their basic rights met. I will never forget the amazing people that I have met here and they will be in my heart always.