Celebrating National Day with RPTC
IHS students interact and share time with differently able students of RPTC.

 
On the 26th November, 2013 the members of the Duke of Edinburgh (DoE) celebrated the 42nd UAE National Day by visiting the Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre (RPTC). They attended a fair organised by the students at the Centre, revering the heritage and public spirit of the country.
 
Students of IHS showed their support and patriotic spirit, by attending the fair and purchasing the merchandise, sold at the fair. Most of the items, including a variety of embroidered shawls, canvas paintings, paper-weights, woodcraft, greeting cards, key chains, bookmarks and wristbands, which were sold, were specially handcrafted or made by the students at the Centre. The DoE members purchased many things from the fair, such as a bookmark a greeting card and much more. Chelsea Fernandes, an IHS student, said, regarding the items made by the students, "The things sold were brilliant and the artwork seemed professionally made. I was absolutely enthralled."
 
The DoE members interacted with the children at RPTC, of various ages. The member students also visited different classes of the Centre. IHS students engaged with these differently able students at RPTC, some of the students communicated with audibly challenged and hearing impaired students of RPTC, through sign language.

After attending the fair, the DoE girls were introduced and paired with the youngest of the children at RPTC as a 'buddy', and ushered into a movie-room, where the watched episodes of all-time children's favourites like 'Tom & Jerry' and 'Barney'.
 
SanjanaNayak another student member of DoE, shared her experience, "I was at first hesitant about approaching them, but luckily, they warmly welcomed us and approached us themselves. That's when I realized that they were much like us and we all had so much in common." Furthermore, she spoke about her experience as a buddy, she recalled fondly, "I befriended a cheerful girl named Freya. We spent time together playing games on the iPad, she offered me some popcorn although, she could not eat some herself as it wasn't good for her health."

This visit for the IHS students was not only an opportunity to develop interpersonal communication skills, but also, to help students develop better emotional and social approachability. It intended to broaden their perspective.
 
Commenting on what the visit aimed at and the values that would be learnt by the students, Mrs. Anita Mehra said, "The visit aimed at giving the students the right kind of exposure and enable them to see how different disabilities were catered to. The students learnt to mingle with children with special needs and how they needed to be integrated into the society. It's an experience about learning to care and give wholeheartedly."
 
- Written By Sanskriti Naik, Senior Reporter of Light House.