The photo below is my favourite from our tour. When I look at it I get reminded of our visit to the MARDAP kids school. These kids are what we might commonly associate with the words disabled, ‘special’, spastic, downs or retarded. And, while I do not want to talk semantics what really stuck with me was words do matter. Not because they hurt or they discriminate but because they can limit our thinking.

Our brief interaction with these kids brought us so much joy, peace and calm. It was amazing to see how piecing together really simple jigsaw puzzles, been shown the therapy donkeys by them, taking photos with them, and even just sitting with them brought so much positive energy to the group.

These kids were not disabled. In fact they were very able, able to teach, learn, share and bring joy to others. If you are wondering MARDAP stands for Mannar Association for Rehabilitation of Differently Able People.

Nic Tan

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