Summer camp for special needs kids
For the first time, special needs children in the emirate can get unique hands-on experience for three days at the Sharjah Aquarium during this year’s summer camp of the Sharjah Museums Department (SMD).
Set to start at 10am on July 1, the Summer Camp is being organised under the initiative of “Sharjah Museums Are Accessible For All” educational programme by the Department of Interpretation and Education. Titled ‘Story Sack’, the camp for the special needs children will end on July 3. The programmes are specifically designed for children with special needs in a manner that helps them get themselves acquainted with Sharjah Museums’ collections and exhibitions.
The SMD’s Interpretation and Education Department has allocated the last Saturday of each month for an educational family workshop, led by education specialists from the Community and Accessibility Services, for the parents of children with special needs, The department will be presenting a family workshop titled ‘The Palace’ on June 30.
‘The Palace’ workshop will begin with a tour of the touring exhibition of the world-famous 19th century British artist Owen Jones, hosted at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation. The exhibition draws upon the treasures from the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) collections to tell the story of Owen Jones, a highly versatile architect and designer whose explorations of Islamic design contributed to the reshaping of the 19th century British design.
The participants will get the opportunity to gain a deeper insight into Islamic motifs as inspired by the architecture of the Andalusia Alhambra Castle in Granada. The participants will also get the chance to enjoy making artworks inspired by the palace using mosaic pieces and other materials.
Alya Burhaima, manager of the Department of Interpretation and Education, said: “The department’s interest in organising this summer camp and allocating the last Saturday of each month for the families of individuals with special needs stems from our belief in the potential capabilities of these special people, who need our added attention and support. It is also in line with our eagerness to provide them with the opportunity to integrate more fully into society and to raise the levels of awareness and acceptance in the community at large. Through creating entertaining, enriching, and educational events and activities, we are providing a platform on which different segments of the community can interact and find common ground and thus increase community cohesion.
“Our eagerness to organise this day stems from our belief in the potential capabilities of these special people, as well as the importance of integrating them into the community activities and promoting awareness among community members about the possibility of utilising their capabilities in serving the community.” She added that it is the right of the people with special needs to have access to training activities in an entertaining and educational manner.
She also said that it is only when the surrounding community adopts a civilised and positive perspective towards people with special needs that they can fully access their human rights.
The programmes and workshops are carefully designed after in-depth studies so as to help develop the skills of the children with special needs, and that the programmes are presented by highly efficient and vastly experienced educational specialists.
She invited families to register early for this free camp and workshops and praised the efforts and role of the local media in supporting these programmes. The family workshop for the parents of children with special needs is the sixth of its kind.