When speaking of disabilities, there is still a pervasive stigma in today's society where people with disabilities are looked at as weak individuals who are unable to contribute to society. Despite the growing number of social initiatives, much of society still lacks disability awareness, especially on those faced with disabilities that are not visible like developmental disabilities, such as Autism.
Yerra's Singapore Team recently spent a CSR day with Society Staples, a social enterprise that holds very tightly to their vision of promoting social inclusion of persons with disabilities (PWDs) in Singapore. Society Staples teamed up with MINDS (Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore) to provide Yerra an enriching and eye-opening experience.Yerra's team was greeted with a warm welcome and brief introduction followed by a few ice breaker activities. They were given the opportunity to participate in an open Q&A session to clear any doubts or misconceptions about people with special needs. Next, the group indulged in delicious Singaporean fusion dishes from APSN Mystical Café, which is operated by trainees with special needs, and were able to meet some individuals with developmental disabilities (persons with Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and intellectual disabilities) of varying ages to learned about them through one-to-one interaction and ball activities.
The scrumptious lunch consisting of fusion and classic delightsAs straightforward as rolling, passing and catching a ball sounds, these simple ball games not only improve their strength and agility but also boost their hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills. While some of the PWDs managed to do as told, the rest needed more attention and took more time to process.At the end of the day, the team left feeling enlightened and had key takeaways to reflect on. One that tops the list is – don’t sweat the little things. The problems we face on a day to day basis that seem so big we think we cannot handle, are really no competition. These individuals face far bigger life challenges on a daily basis."This experience has opened my eyes to new perspectives and helped me gain a form of appreciation for everything I have in my life, big or small. I take my hats off to individuals forming initiatives to include the community who has often been neglected by society even until today, not just in Singapore but the rest of the world," stated Ria Norsyahira.Yerra would like to encourage everyone to take some hours off to visit your local organizations that serve people with disabilities. Volunteer, talk to them, and try to understand their life journey. Sometimes all they need is for someone to just be there, even if you cannot solve their problems. Just knowing someone is there and cares for them makes all the difference.
A special thank you goes out to Society Staples, APSN for hosting Yerra Solutions.