Inside the hall of Saydet El Inaya church in Maghdouche, many families of children and adults with special needs and learning difficulties began to gather. Yet there was one family who caught my attention.
“I am very excited to be at NDU. I will definitely do well on my first semester… Whatever [tests] Mrs. Lama gives me, I will do my best to get a perfect score…
I will do public speaking just like the TED Talks, so I am super excited to be at this university.”
On an early Monday morning in Anjar’s MERATH-supported church-based learning center, young Mazen came in with his classmates for a SKILD-facilitated session on psychosocial support. As part of a series on social emotional learning, that day’s lesson was on positively handling negative emotions.
Every year in February, Night to Shine sweeps the world, bringing prom to individuals with special needs. It’s a joyful night to remind them that they are royalty in God’s eyes. With the support of the Tim Tebow Foundation, over 600 global sites hosted more than 100,000 individuals with special needs to illustrate God’s love for them.
For most young people, finishing high school is just another milestone to add on the wall of family pictures. But let us imagine for a second that all of this is not possible.
As SKILD enters its tenth year of ministry, we are proud of parents who defied their community, took a stand against its shame and honor culture, and fought for their children to be recognized as an integral part of society.
SKILD’s Parent2Parent was created as a support group that is a comfortable space for parents of special needs children to share their experiences and grow together. Watch Anna, a mother of a young girl with Autism Spectrum Disorder, describe her journey from despair to hope after joining Parent2Parent, where she found a listening ear after struggling with unanswered questions and fears for five years.
Eyes still shining and hearts still warm, this year’s door-to-door Night to Shine had it all! With humbleness and gratitude, 15 SKILD volunteers prepared special parcels and visited 63 kings and queens with special needs and their families who welcomed them with big smiles as they shared the joy of having their children recognized for their potential.
Created as a instructional stopgap due to the COVID lockdowns, SKILD’s educational videos for parents with special needs have been going viral throughout the Arab world.