Festival Aims to Break Barriers and Defeat Discrimination

Children with disabilities and special needs end up in the margins – this is a reality that, sadly, we continue to experience today. In Eastern Europe, it’s not unusual for parents to abandon disabled children out of fear and lack of knowledge, further reinforcing the stigma that surrounds special needs children, along with the discrimination that comes with it.

The “Freckles of World” festival in Adygea was organized to address this social issue and create more loving and inclusive communities. Allies was blessed with another opportunity to participate in the celebration, which was touted as a “holiday of equal opportunities.“

“Our main goal is to help change public opinion… to help integrate children and teens with disabilities into society, and encourage parents to be more active in the lives of their special needs children,” said Irina, volunteer and co-chairman of ONF’s regional headquarters, which organized the event. “This festival blurs boundaries, breaks barriers and stereotypical views, and connects special needs children with their healthier peers in a friendly and positive environment. This way, they learn about respect and sensitivity from a young age.”

The highlights of the festival included artistic performances, drawing exhibitions, bubble shows, and a quest game, where teams had to carry out different tasks in order to win. There were 16 art fields all across the festival grounds, giving the children a chance to try different forms of art.

Nikita, who suffers from hydrocephalus, was among the 500 children in attendance. His condition makes him vulnerable to major health risks. By the grace of God, he and his sister are now in good hands, and they were able to enjoy the event along with every child and teen who was there.

God’s love does not discriminate. Our love should not either. Every child deserves to feel safe and secure, and grow up in a warm, loving home. We invite anyone who wishes to share life-changing, bountiful love and mercy with those who need it most.