MANILA —The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is implementing a program meant to increase opportunities for children with special needs in Iloilo Province.
A group of young Japanese teachers is working in Iloilo’s SPED (Special Education) schools under JICA’s Volunteer Program.
Yuko Obuchi, a para-sports instructor and special education specialist from Nihon University, supports transition education for special children helping them make mats using recycled clothes and enhancing their culinary skills at Maasin Elementary School SPED Center.
The children sell their products in their school to earn income and learn about money concepts.
Momoe Nishizaki, assigned in Passi 1 Central School SPED Center, also guides special needs children how to make pineapple jams.
She also suggests teaching materials and new activities on fine motor skills and other self-help activities (changing clothes or livelihood) to special children.
Meantime, Kana Shimizu, dispatched at the Raul OV Causing Memorial School, said “through self-help activities, we hope to increase opportunities of Filipino children with special needs and help them cope with daily life by being independent.”
The Japanese teachers also talk to parents and teachers and encourage them to know more about special education and disabilities.
“I hope this activity will also help parents because they tend to blame themselves due to lack of information,” shared Yui Uneme who is supporting the SPED program of more than 60 students with different disabilities in Tigbauan Central Elementary School.
“We want to help create an environment where special needs children learn how to become independent and self-sustaining and would not feel limited in terms of opportunities,” added Uneme.
At Tigbauan Central Elementary School, special children craft a dream catcher made of wire, yarn and beads that they sell to visitors in their school.
JICA, the world’s largest bilateral aid agency, handles technical cooperation, official development assistance (ODA) loans and investment, and grant aid, as well as cooperation volunteers and disaster relief programs. (PNA)