Support local special needs school’s craft initiative

Just received an email today from Manzil Centre for Challenged Individuals based in Sharjah about its latest initiative to support, and, most importantly, empower its students with special needs.

Individuals and companies who wish to gift their friends, family or colleagues presents created by children with special needs can contact Manzil with any customisable requests.

All proceeds from the sale of Manzil ME products will go towards supporting its students.

There is more information in the flyer below, and for more info call +97165347663 or +971509817767.

Manzil ME gifts

Disclosure: My brother studies at Manzil.

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A Sports Carnival with #manzilbooks

This post is to inform everyone the books we’ve been collecting for Manzil are finally going to be put on sale. It’s also going to be combined with the school’s Sports Carnival, which will take place on Saturday, February 11, 2012 at the Khalifa University, Sharjah.

Normally, these events are a bit low key, with just the parents and families involved. But this time, the Manzil Sports Day has evolved into the Sports Carnival.

Here’s the event invite; do pop by!

If not to cheer the adorable students while they compete in various sports, but to buy some books and play some games? Come on, it’ll be a fun day out. The event invite says 10am-5pm; from 10am-12pm are the sporting events and then onwards is the fun fair activities, including the booksale.

Anyone want to help them out? Read on, thanks!

Also, if anyone is interested in supporting the school, here’s how you can do it:

1. The school is selling spaces/tables for firms and/or individuals with businesses who want to showcase their wares and sell their items on that day. Participation for this closes February 2, 2012. Do spread the word.
2. They need a photographer and a videographer from 10am-1pm that day. Anyone who’s up for some pro bono work, drop me a line at contact(at)devinadivecha(dot)com.

Thanks again to everyone who supported the collection of books!

Previous posts you might want to read:
Participate in a special Sports Carnival + #manzilbooks update
The #manzilbooks update
At #manzilbooks at @wildpeeta
Donate books to help raise funds for a special needs school

Special needs children enjoy camping in Fujairah (via Gulf News)

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The first time we stayed away from home, the first time we travelled far with our friends and the first time we used a sleeping bag. How many of us will remember these experiences?

These and many more experiences were felt during Manzil’s overnight camp at Ain Al Madhab Gardens in Fujairah. What made this camp different was that students from Manzil, a centre for individuals with special needs in Sharjah, were accompanied by their “buddies” from The Millennium School, Dubai, where they attend a partial inclusion programme every Wednesday.

All students, escorted by the staff , filed into vans one Thursday afternoon and soon reached the camp site. After putting away their baggage, the students enjoyed a game of football. They then went and explored the play equipment in the park. Later, it was time for drumming, music and some dancing.

In the evening, there was a barbeque and all the students sat down for dinner and watched a movie. By 10pm all Manzil students were fast asleep.

The next morning, after freshening up, the students had breakfast and by 9.30am they were headed back to school where their eager parents were waiting to take them home. The parents were surprised to hear about all their activities. The students had even packed up all their things independently.

It was a wonderful experience for these truly special students.

— The writer is an Inclusion Programme Coordinator at Manzil

 

The #manzilbooks update

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Bookmarks designed by Saurabh Chhabra (@2S8)

What’s happening with ManzilBooks? For those joining in now, here’s my plea to the community asking to donate books, and here’s the first #manzilbooks event we held at Wild Peeta.

Initially, the school wanted to hold their booksale in June, but haven’t hit the required 10,000 books the people helping them organise the event have requested for the sale to be held in the first place.

Where have they reached? With our donations and independent ones, they’ve passed 4,000. For this reason, they’ve decided to extend the duration of collection over the summer, and hopefully hit the target and carry out the event after the summer, and after Eid.

So…what’s happening?

I’m the contact person for pick-up points near Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City, Emirates Hills, Greens, Meadows, Springs, Lakes, JLT, JBR, the Marina. Anastasia (@TDAllonsy) will be looking after Dubai Silcon Oasis, Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) and the surrounding areas.

Alternatively, Wild Peeta has generously donated its Dubai World Trade Centre outlet as a drop-off point. If dropping the books off there is more convenient, then please do so. Do drop me an email (autism [at] devinadivecha [dot] com) to let me know you’ve done so. There’s a collection of books people have dropped off along with these lovely bookmarks for people to have a sit-down and read while they eat (make sure you don’t drop any food or drink on the books!).

We hope you’ll spread the word…if anyone is thinking of getting rid of their books, please point them our way!

Manzil’s annual concert – “I Can”

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(First picture in the slideshow was taken at the dress rehearsal a few days before the concert by @SaharLatheef. I don’t have very many pictures from the concert – I’d left my camera with my parents while I helped @shru_ the best I could with the video she was taking of the event.)

As always, Karan’s school hosts a concert for its students to participate in. I’d missed last year’s concert because I was away in UK, so I was quite excited about this year’s. It was held at the Sharjah Cultural Palace and this year was called “I Can”.

The event started off as always with a slideshow of all the students photographs, then the UAE national anthem and the Surah recitation by one of the students. After a singing performance by the students and the Best Buddies from Millennium School, Sharjah, there was a dance performance called Fire and Water. We saw two students graduating from the school this year, much to everyone’s applause and encouragement. Then we had the musical play, I Can, which was an adaptation of Helen Keller’s life. The concert ended as always, with a vote of thanks.

I always love going to these events … whether it’s their concert or their sports days (which I’ve said before). Even if you’re going through a particularly bad patch, attending these events never fails to lift spirits. It works for me anyway. You can go in feeling really bad about something, and walk out feeling on top of the world. Just seeing the student’s enthusiasm, hard work and effort paying off is such a lovely thing. You see the students really giving their all to put on an awesome show for their families and you see how much they’ve progressed since joining the school. The atmosphere is even more charged because of the expectations and hopes the audience has; it seems like such a normal thing…to perform at an event, doesn’t it? Preps for these concerts are even more than what other “normal” schools would go through. The students are given roles according to their ability and are trained to do it well. Karan had to walk in and then go to the fringe of the stage – he was playing a mountain hehe.

Can’t wait for their next event; one of the most exhilarating experiences I have every year.