Persons with disabilities showcase talent

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Poetess Ange Theonestine Ashimwe performs one of her poems about disability.

IT was a display of various artistic talents as persons with disabilities marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in Kigali, Thursday night.

The event, at the Kigali Serena Hotel, saw persons with disabilities entertain guests with poetry, traditional drumming, singing, and dance.

The evening kicked off with an art and craft exhibition featuring products made by persons with disabilities as traditional drummers entertained guests.

Thereafter, Emmanuel Ndayisaba, the executive secretary for the National Council for persons with disabilities, delivered opening remarks, followed by musical performances from the opening act, the New Life Children’s Choir.

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A visually impaired boy strums away at his guitar. 

This was followed by a touching poem by Ashimwe Ange Theoneste, titled A Walk to Remember, which was done to the backdrop of percussion instrumentation.

The theme for this year’s International Day for Persons with Disabilities was, “Transformation towards a sustainable and resilient society for all.”

The United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities is an annual event that seeks to empower children around the world to be agents of positive change.

The day is marked annually on December 3rd, but in Rwanda the event was marked on November 30th to accommodate the weekday schedule of the performers, who were selected from four different schools across the country.

In attendance were Emmanuel Ndayisaba, the Executive Secretary of the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, state minister for Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC), Alvera Mukabaramba, who was the guest of honor, and the UNICEF country director Ted Maly.

The performances involved collaborations between fully able children and youths, and those with disabilities.

The United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities is an annual event to empower children around the world to be agents of change.

By including fully able children performing alongside children with disabilities, the performances sought to create a mutually inclusive environment.

“The most important thing to remember, and what we hope the children participating in this event will always remember is; Disability is not inability,” remarked Ted Maly, the UNICEF country director in Rwanda.

The evening wound up with a closing performance from local R&B singer Peace Jolis, after which guests were treated to a refreshments.

The event was organised by UNICEF Rwanda in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, National Council for Persons with Disabilities, and the National Commission for Children.

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Art and craft items made by persons with disabilities on sale at the event.
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Children perform one of their collaborative pieces
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Dancing time./ Courtesy photos.
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Persons with disability entertain guests at the event.

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