In observance of the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week, Unicef and its partners, namely SM Cares, Camera Club of the Philippines and Tanghalang Pilipino, showcased different talents of physically-challenged children over a photo exhibit followed by a stage play and will be available in selected SM malls.
Early childhood is a crucial period for children with disabilities. A good care and development opportunities during this time improves participation and inclusion for children with disabilities and increases their chances of becoming healthy and productive adults. But many children with disabilities lack access to basic social services, such as health and education.
UNICEF, as part of its work to reach the most vulnerable children, is working with the Department of Health and Philhealth on improving access to assist devices and rehabilitation services. For children with disabilities, especially those who are poor or live in disaster-affected areas, this work will help them take their rightful place in society.
“Children with disabilities are among the most disadvantaged and stigmatized in Philippine society. By changing people’s views about the potential of children with disabilities, we advance the goal of promoting participation and inclusion for all Filipino children. We have to focus on and nurture the abilities of the child rather than their disability, “UNICEF Philippines Chief of Health and Nutrition Dr. Willibald Zeck says.
The photo exhibit entitled “See What I Can Do” was developed in collaboration with the Camera Club of the Philippines and was formally launched in SM Mall of Asia on July 18. The launch was graced by Vice President Leni Robredo , SM Supermalls President Annie Garcia, and UNICEF Deputy Representative Julia Rees. The exhibit is on display at SM Mall of Asia until July 23. It will also be shown in SM City Clark from July 18 to 28 , SM City Cebu from August 13 to 19 and SM City Davao from August 22 to 29.
The play “Sandosenang Sapatos” was staged by Tanghalang Pilipino at the Music Hall of the SM Mall of Asia following the launch of the photo exhibit. The musical is based on Dr. Luis Gatmaitan’s Palanca Award-winning children’s book of the same title. It tackles the love between the father and his daughter who was born without legs. The play will be staged again for free to the public at SM MOA on July 23 (11am and 4pm) and SM City Clark on July 24 (11am and 4pm).