This is Dr. Badewa T. Adejugbe-Williams, the Founder of the Royal School of Educational Therapy Foundation in Abuja, Nigeria.
“When we teach a child to draw, we teach him how to see. When we teach a child to play a musical instrument, we teach her how to listen. When we teach a child how to dance, we teach him how to move through life with grace. When we teach a child to read or write, we teach her how to think. When we nurture imagination, we create a better world, one child at a time” (Jane Alexander). This poem is an appropriate description of my experience with the Voice supported YES, WE CAN Docudrama with the story by, and co-starring our Rightsholders who have Neurodevelopmental Disabilities at RSET Foundation.
The total experience had been nothing short of inspiring and exhilarating. To say I embarked upon this project with fingers crossed would be an understatement acknowledging that my expectations were rather high. However, what the rightsholders and I gained from this is nothing short of miraculous. The rightsholders played musical instruments, danced, acted, modelled, created crafts, and they learned to formulate stories, read and write, that is, their imagination was nurtured.
And all these were documented in the YES WE CAN Docudrama as they were able to collectively tell a compelling story that chronicled the challenges, prospects and triumphs of persons with special needs, in their own words and by their actions. The project was not only extremely successful as the rightsholders exceeded my expectations; it actually catapulted them to the international limelight. They were not only featured by a television station in Bronx, New York, they have been invited to perform internationally with Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills and Nash. This goes to show that with the right support, persons with neurodevelopmental disabilities do have a voice and can learn.