ASTANA – Astana recently hosted its first festival showcasing the creative talents of children with special needs. The Meirim festival attracted more than 400 children with special educational needs.
“This year, we have participated in such a festival for the first time. My daughter Aziza dances. I wish that there were more such festivals because we were preparing with enthusiasm for the performance for several months,” said the mother of one of the participants Gulbanu Ibragimova, according to the Astana city government website.
Ibragimova is a strong supporter of such events, saying, “thanks to such events our children with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy are looking at their lives positively. Such events give them confidence, they find themselves, they adapt themselves.”
The main goal of the festival is to create an inclusive creative space that helps to reveal the talents of children. During the event, a fashionable and stylish collection of clothes adapted for the physical characteristics of children with disabilities was shown. Also, an exhibition of the best children’s works of fine art was opened. In addition, the children sang, read poetry and danced.
Special master classes for children on felting, jewellery, drawing and wood carving were organised as well. The event was held at the National Museum under “Astana – the City of People Strong in Spirit” programme. The festival was dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Kazakh capital.
Nur Otan Astana branch, Assyl Bala Public Foundation, sponsors and organizers, KazCargoCustoms, Astana School No. 83, Velada international model agency, SaBelle fashion House and Gulmira Barlubaeva beauty studio sponsored and organised the festival.
The Society of Parents of Children with Disabilities, the World of Equal Opportunities, Solnechniy Mir (Sunny World) Public Fund, Heritage Public Association, Social Services Centre of Astana administration and Spinabifida Public Association were co-organisers of the festival.
By 2020, 70 percent of schools in Kazakhstan will provide inclusive education. Such education will accommodate the needs of all children regardless of their disability, health, socio-economic status, gender or race. In general, it responds to whatever potential barrier to learning exists in the classroom.