About 1,000 persons with disabilities (PWD) are set to receive their Christmas surprise this year through Kasama, Sama Ka (KSK) on December 3, 2017 at the Marikina Sports Center, coinciding with the International Day for Persons with Disabilities of the United Nations.
Now on its 7th year, KSK is once again treating special children to fun and engaging activities that help them socialize and showoff their talent.
Dr. Gerry Duwin A. Dela Zerna, president and founder of Guided and Unified Interaction for the Development of Children, (GUIDE) Inc. orgnizes this mobile event annually to generate wider awareness and acceptance of PWD in the community.
“KSK is one way of demonstrating inclusiveness in our society where PWD are also given that equal chance to be at par with their counterparts,” Dela Zerna stressed.
The PWD day is anchored on this year’s theme “Embrace! Believe! Engage!” where activities will not only highlight on games and sports but at the same time showcase talent of PWD and their volunteer caregivers. Assisted by 1,200 volunteers from diverse background and whose unifying interest is toward genuine acceptance of PWD in the community,
“Kuya and Ate, as they are called, assist PWD on their engagement and participation to KSK activities,” explained by Dela Zerna.
Dr. Dela Zerna is a recipient of the UGAT Foundation, Inc.’s Gawad Geny Lopez Jr. Bayaning Pilipino Awards 2014 – the award was given in honor of his work in helping the management and treatment of over 20,000 special children since 1996.
“We simply want others, just like us to embrace, believe and engage PWD to opportunties that are present in the community,” Maricel C. Ramos, this year’s KSK director, said.
Ms. Ramos is a special education teacher and a long time volunteerat GUIDE in advocating PWD integation in the community.
“KSK is GUIDE, Inc.’s way of making connection, providing socialization and bridging integration of PWD through games, dance, storytelling, mime, acrobat and magic show, and other fun stuff, “ Ramos further explained.
While the PWD are engaged into exciting and dynamic psycho-social activities and games, their parents as well as their teachers are treated to a seminar on “Embracing, Believing, and Engaging PWD in their Integration to the Community.”
Dela Zerna explained that in the past, “parents are complaining that programs are always benefiting their children and that they are always excluded when they too also need programs and services to be of best assistance to their children.”
To genuinely demonstrate inclusivity, the parenting engagement was born.
Dr. Dela Zerna appeals to the generosity of the public through donation of gifts like bath towel, bath soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste and slippers to fill in the loot bag to be distributed to PWD participants at KSK. Sponsors are also encouraged to bring in meals and drinks for the PWD and their parents.
GUIDE, Inc. is, a non-stock-non-profit volunteer service organization whose mandate is to provide programs and projects that help children with various exceptionalities. Operating for 21 years, GUIDE has already extended assistance to over 25,000 children and has also trained, developed and deployed over 7,000 professionals and youth volunteers to various programs and services to children with various disabilities.