By Kelsey Sundberg, a member of SkillCorps Kenya April 2017 team
As I sat and watched the kids play guitar and drums, with excitement growing in their eyes as the music teachers played and sang along to the beats they were making I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear! One playing the guitar upside down, another matching the beat the music teacher had just played on guitar and another singing along to Bah Bah Black Sheep as she wait her turn. The music teachers just as happy to be there as the kids were.
After they were done, we were able to talk to the teachers about their experience working at Kaizora. Since it’s #AutismAcceptance month we asked them what it meant to truly accept individuals on the spectrum and one of the teachers described it in a way that will always stick with me, in a way I never thought about before.
He described his experience as this:
I like to think of it much like a boat on the water. The boat is already going, moving, but may need to be guided or directed sometimes and other times may need more steering. These autistic kids and people are just as able to do anything we are but may need a guiding hand or help along the way.
I thought to myself “Wow, you just hit the nail on the head” then I thought to myself “Why can’t more people think this way? Why can’t more people be open to differences that illuminate individuality? People strive to be individualist yet when another person is that in their own specific way, it’s not accepted or viewed as less.
It just simply shouldn’t be this way.”
Then I looked around at the smiling faces and remembered how lucky I am to be in their presence, to accept and love their individuality and to help them reach their highest potential!
I have been given this opportunity to work along side some AMAZING individuals here in Kenya, who possesses so much knowledge but show even more passion towards the kiddos they work with. I’m so fortunate to team up with the staff, to meet these kind humans who offer their music talents and be along side some amazing SkillCorps women! How did we get so lucky to be the guiding hands, the extra push when needed and a piece to these emerging ships setting sail?!