The challenge that the project addresses

Raw Foundation NPC is an organization that uses creativity, art and culture for social change. In 2024, we took the initiative to collaborate with local artists to create 3D visual artwork and audio storytelling for children with visual Impairment and hearing difficulties and those with multiple disabilities and do an art exhibition and storytelling narration as part of an inclusive art education program. The exhibition will be an annual event, depending on funding capability. Through this initiative, we want to create a safe space for these children to express themselves and their creativity.

What is your project doing to respond to this challenge?

We want to create a space where they can share their stories and aspirations. More than anything, we aim to sharpen their visual skills, hone their creative talents, celebrate them, and ensure they feel loved and appreciated. We also aim to change the narrative that children with disabilities cannot challenge the norm. Through this, they can express themselves; the curation captures their lived experience and narrates it to give hope. We include exciting opportunities for competition and fun activities for them. Some have gotten art stationaries and positive drawings and paintings as their rewards. For the first time in our lives, we saw visually impaired young people drawing and painting, which was exciting. We wish the world could see them like that, too.

Describe the project's impact

It brings hope and encourages young people not to give up. More than anything, it helps teachers and parents identify their children’s skills and talents. It reaffirms that possibilities are endless. For example, while we were getting ready for the exhibition, one of the volunteer parents at the school came to tell me about her son, who is only four years old with hearing difficulties, who is always making animated drawings without any prior learning, and wished he could be part of the project. This affirmed to me and the team that this project is necessary because art education remains on the periphery; it is even worse for disabled children without resources. Another example is the level of joy and participation from the learners; it reassured us of our advocacy to see this through; one of the volunteer visual art teachers was excited about this collaboration, including the school principal and wished we could do more of this. We donated all the artworks to the school for children to engage with in future.

We hope to design and renew school artworks that have faded and create 3D model art murals that kids can touch without damage, or sculptures that represent the school icon or something significant to them, and to renovate all the old positive art murals that raise awareness about their conditions, give hope, and celebrate them; we will do this together with the children who are interested in visual art, to represent their voice in the school. A mural that will last for years to come is a memory and a positive influence on a learning environment that encourages inclusive art education regardless of circumstances.