DOUMA, Syria – The Syrian Child Protection Network has been making strides to bridge the gap between children who have congenital disabilities and children who do not by providing communities with the necessary educational materials and skills.
Due to the ongoing siege of the last rebel-held enclave near the Syrian capital of Damascus, it has been difficult for the Child Protection Network to obtain materials, but they have worked to adjust international programs according to what was available on hand.
The network’s Department of Special Education endeavored to develop the talents of children with congenital cognitive disabilities, such as autism, Down syndrome and other mental disabilities, by providing them with an art space.
Teachers successfully managed to organize the first art gallery composed of the children’s paintings under the title “Sa’akoun – I will be” in Douma, Eastern Ghouta.
The teachers’ motivation for creating this gallery was not only to raise the children’s spirits and increase their self-esteem, but also to change the perspectives of both parents and community members toward children living with disabilities.
The gallery presented several colorful paintings and three-dimensional miniature models done by the children.
Over the last two weeks, attacks by the Syrian government reportedly increased in Eastern Ghouta as part of an effort to seize rebel-held areas.
The Eastern Ghouta district was designated a “de-escalation zone,” one of four in Syria, but fighting has continued to take place.