There is often much talk about creating an inclusive society for people with special needs.
Last week, we met someone who is doing this with the Singapore Special Voices.
Magdalene Wong is not creating an inclusive society by treating children with special needs as beneficiaries.
Instead, she is empowering them to give back to the community, and hone their talents in some way or another.
Meeting the Singapore Special Voices
Last saturday, we brought the Singapore Special Voices to Bright Hill Evergreen Home.
The Singapore Special Voices is a choir made up of special needs children who perform song and dance.
The seniors were very excited to participate in the performance.
The seniors have dementia and they dont often respond very much during volunteer engagement.
But, they were very ready to join in the song and dance segments with the children.
Motivations behind the Singapore Special Voices
Magdalene was motivated to set up the choir because she strongly believes that special needs children are born with talents.
She believes that they have the potential to do much better, given the right intervention.
Her son’s talent when playing the drums, piano and bowling, or dabbling in art has also inspired her to encourage families with special needs children.
She wants to make music and art either free, or at the very least, affordable for special needs children.
Music is one of the best therapies for special needs children.
The musical performance that they brought to seniors at Bright Hill Evergreen Home was also a great form of engagement.
The seniors were very enaged with the children’s song and dance as they performed melodies that they were very familiar with.
Children do have a magical ability to bring smiles to children. I blogged about a previous visit by children to the home during Christmas.
Challenges to Overcome
However, it has not been an entirely smooth sailing journey for Magdalene.
“As a working Mother with a special child, I face challenges in getting sufficient help and juggling between office work, son, choir and art classes for children with special needs. I’ve to constantly come up with new and creative songs and dance steps, charting choirs schedule and collating attendance,” said Magdalene.
She sources for funds to buy materials such as hand chimes for the performances.
She also gets sponsorship help from family and friends who believe in the project.
The Singapore Special Voices comprises a tight community of special needs children and their parents.
Magdalene’s vision is to develop stage performing talents amongst children with special needs.
She wants to provide an avenue for them to be engaged in meaningful activities.
She believes that this will help improve their social skills and allow them to build self-confidence.
She is already seeing the fruits of her labour as parents have been sharing improvements of their children’s social skills and self-confidence.
Through the choir, Magdalene’s son has also become more sociable and open in interacting with others.
Her dream is to produce albums for the choir and bring them overseas to share this visions with special needs families in different part of the world.
She hopes that the Singapore Special Voices will bring Love, Joy and Hope to the rest of the world.