We work with those who have been marginalized by society, resulting from the deep- rooted stigma attached to disability. By showcasing our work to society at large, we demonstrate that, in fact, persons with disability have much to contribute to their families and their communities.
The cornerstone of our programme is the workshop, which is built on the notion of inclusion and sharing. Our workshop leaders are trained to facilitate creative activities, using the performance arts as a therapeutic tool. The workshop space provides a sanctuary where individuals are allowed to express themselves without ridicule or prejudice.
We have a team of 38 young men and women who have been given extensive training in the performing arts. These experienced and skilled trainers conduct regular workshops for young persons with disability (aged 12-30). We conduct 38 workshops throughout the country. Each workshop is conducted on a weekly basis, and consists of an average of 25 participants.
Recently, Sunera introduced speech therapy at the Dehiwala, Panadura, Kamburupitiya, Mawanella and Horagolla workshops, employing graduates of the Language and Speech Therapy Degree course at the University of Kelaniya, to give therapy and training to the children as well as parents. These sessions were successfully completed after one year.
On a larger scale, Sunera introduced art therapy to all workshops as a way of supplementing regular activities in the performing arts, training the trainers to carry out therapy sessions successfully without interrupting with other workshop activities. Art Therapy sessions are conducted fortnightly in every workshop.
Using drama therapy with a mix of drama activities, movement, song, puppetry and mime, Sunera Foundation conducts weekly workshops around Sri Lanka for young persons with disabilities. Through these workshops, participants develop a sense of self confidence and belonging.
The basis of our programme is the workshop space. The workshops are built on a sharing process and the workshop leaders are trained to facilitate creative progression. It is a learning process for both the trainer and the trainees. The workshop space provides a sanctuary where individuals are allowed to express themselves without ridicule or prejudice.
Simple communication exercises are used to help participants overcome inhibitions. This is followed by performance – based activities using dance, drama, and music which finally culminate in group performances. While a regular weekly class would comprise of approximately 30 participants, special workshops will have an attendance of as many as 40 to 50 participants.
Since the beginning of our workshops in 1999, the numbers of trainers and workshops have grown in response to the needs of persons living with disability.
|Nuwara Eliya District