Differently-abled students show their creativity

By Afra Naufel and Azra Ameen

Each item was a little masterpiece. They had all been created with great effort and care by a special child. The colourful paintings hanging on the walls had a message to the world, that said- "Yes, we can do it too."

The students of 'The Colombo Centre for Special Education' displayed their talents in different forms, on July 14 at the Lionel Wendt gallery. The exhibition was titled 'Expressions 2010'.

The expressions came in a wide array: paintings, collages, wall hangings, hand made wrapping paper, greeting cards, wooden items, embossed work, serviettes and dish towels. The items were available for sale at a bargain price.

Preparation for the exhibition started in January. Attention was given to bringing out the abilities of each student, said their art teacher, Anusha De Silva who explained that they created collages by blending colours using old magazines and the students even made the tassels of the wall hangings.

The aim of such an exhibition was to encourage the students. "They love seeing their work displayed," said the centre's executive director Charika Muttiah, who said it would help bring in funding for these students.

The 28 mentally-disadvantaged male students who are above the age of 18 are supported by the teachers and volunteers with much care. The teachers have a gift themselves- they need special qualities to deal with the differently abled. "What's special about these children is that they do not know how to keep a grudges or take revenge. That's a beautiful trait in them and it's easy to work with them," said Anusha.Expression 2010 was a success and it was a joy to see the smiling bright faces behind the work.

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