Some children of Salem Montessori Special Needs School in Benin, the Edo capital, on Wednesday, participated in an International Arts Exhibition, as a way to raise funds for their school.
Mrs Omo Omoike, founder of the school, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Wednesday, that the exhibition was held online.
Omoike said the exhibition was organised by Salem Montessori Special Needs School in partnership with Art and the African Child, Nigeria, and Shining Stars International School, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
According to her, “we are showcasing the creative abilities of our children and also using their art works to solicit for funds so that we can empower them to have independent lives when they leave this school.
“Seeing my children being able to express themselves through Arts is a great thing for me and the school.”
She said the 2022 International Art Exhibition project was titled “Art and Disabilities; Intersecting Identities in Special Needs Children”.
According to her “most times, children with special needs are not factored into what is happening in the society and as such, they cannot contribute to nation building.
“So involving them in Art works gives them an opportunity to connect with the outside world; they are able to communicate their feelings and identity with the outside world.”
She further said that funds realised from the sales of the paintings would be used to employ the services of certified Arts teachers as well as acquire standard Art equipment in the school.
“We are calling on Non-Governmental Organisations, governments and lovers of Art works, to support the children grow their creativity”.
She added that the online exhibition attracted a lot of participants from within and outside the country, especially from United Arab Emirates.
“Shining Stars International School and friends in Abu Dhabi, have promised to support the creativity of our children and we look forward to more support,” she said.
Some students of Salem Montessori Special Needs School in Benin showcasing their Art work on SDGs
Also speaking with NAN, founder, Art and the African Child (ATAC), Mr Vincent Odigie, said the Arts exhibition was also to get input from children with special needs in the attainment of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Odigie said “ATAC is happy to collaborate with Salem Montessori Special Needs School to encourage special needs children, who have shown that creativity is not limited to able-bodied children.
“Their beautiful paintings are reflections of the minds and we are delighted to showcase them to the international community.
“We call on individuals and organizations to support this great project to help scale up the project and provide the necessary resource and care for the Special Needs Children” he said. (NAN)