“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become” – C. G. Jung

The pupils and staff of The Millennium School were in for a life-changing experience from students of Al Mawaheb Art Studio, an art studio for individuals with special needson Sunday, 28th September 2014. As part of the Best Buddies initiative, 11 pupils from the Al Mawaheb Studio took stage to demonstrate to the seated audience that they are not defined by the adversity they face, instead turning their adversity into achievements!!

Sharan, a student, spoke his thoughts on how he has “NO REGRETS”, which words he has tattooed on his hand to remind him every time doubts seem to collect in his mind. Alex is now a famous artist and loves painting.He was more than eager to share with the crowd his thoughts on bullies and gave a very strong message of acceptance. Each one spoke with confidence and made it a point to be heard. They gave a 3-step formula for creating a positive change:

NOTICE – Wake up and NOTICE what’s happening

CHOOSE – Dream It! Create a vision for what you DO want your life to look like

ACT –Do Something! Have the courage and commitment it takes to BE THE CHANGE!!

GulshanKavarana, who heads the Special Families Support (SFS) Group and helps families cope with special needs children and the challenges of family life by acting as a coach and motivator and also an art teacher at Al Mawaheb, gave a quick lesson on SIGN LANGUAGE. This has now created a wave in the school and everyone wants to learn the language so that they can help reach out to individuals who converse using this language only. The girls have decided to implement the use of sign language the first hour of every Wednesday, starting with the Senior Section.

This was followed by one of the artists of Al Mawaheb Studio, Victor Sitali, sketching a portrait of Gandhi, which was presented to the Principal, Mr. Michael Guzder.

The pupils of TMS were overwhelmed with the morning’s proceedings and were very vocal about their sentiments.

Jessika (Grade 11 pupil) promised, “Never again will I say that I wasn’t aware that negative judgments, thoughtless jokes, rumours or comments hurt people.”

Best Buddies President,SanikaKelkar, said, “Sharan’s words, “Everyone is unique in their own special way“, is a very simple statement, but it had a lot of depth and was thought-provoking. It was a delightful experience to all present there. We got to learn so much in such little time. I would like to thank the school for letting me be a part of this inspiring event. Definitely one of the best workshops I’ve been part of.”

Like Sanika and Jessika, a lot more pupils learnt lessons of sensitivity, patience, tolerance and, above all else, they realised that they have to, indeed, count their blessings!!