Friday Jul 1, 2022
Friday Jul 1, 2022

Candle-making, a way to independence


Nepalnews
2021 Nov 01, 17:03, Kathmandu
With the training achieved, young adults at the daycare center have started making and selling candles and oil lamps for Tihar. Photo: Satyam Daycare Center

Satyam Daycare Center has been providing practical and vocational trainings to children with down syndrome and intellectual disabilities. The daycare center is one of the many activities of Down Syndrome Society Nepal (DSSN). Founder and President of DSSN, Shila Thapa started involving herself in activities relating to intellectual disabilities in 2006. “My 19-year-old son, Satyam is the main reason for me to be involved in this”, she says.

With the training achieved, young adults at the daycare center have started making and selling candles and oil lamps for Tihar. Raw materials to make these products are bought from local stores at Asan. Both candles and oil lamps are sold at Rs. 120 for 12 pieces. “There is very little profit margin in these products. Our main motive at present is awareness”, says Thapa. “This also motivates our students to work to earn money”, she adds.

The money generated from the sales of these products is utilized to fulfill other requirements of the children at the daycare center. “We will buy stationery items for the children to make Christmas cards with the money earned”, Thapa says. The people involved in the candle-making process are also paid from the money generated for their hard work. “This motivates them to keep working and gives a taste of independence”, she adds.


Individual with down syndrome making candles.
Photo: Satyam Daycare Center
Individual with down syndrome making candles. Photo: Satyam Daycare Center

Due to the pandemic, not everyone was able to get involved in candle-making this year. A team of five, including volunteers and a trainee intern, are involved in making these candles. “We plan to involve everyone at the center who are above the age of 16 in candle-making next year”, she says.

Candle-making is one of the many life-skill trainings the daycare provides to children. “Rather than education, we provide them with practical knowledge and skills like socializing, expressing, etc. Vocational skills are also provided which will help them become independent individuals in the future”, she says. With the training they received, many young adults of the center were able to get employed at coffee shops, bakeries, restaurants, etc. Ones who are not comfortable being social are involved in activities at the daycare center itself.


Oil lamps and candles made at Satyam Daycare Center by people with down syndrome.
Photo: Satyam Daycare Center
Oil lamps and candles made at Satyam Daycare Center by people with down syndrome. Photo: Satyam Daycare Center

Thapa sees this as a chance to prove to society that people with down syndrome can work well independently. “There are reserved seats for people with disabilities in the Lok Sewa as well. But since people with down syndrome and intellectual disabilities struggle to study, it becomes difficult for them to apply for it. However, them successfully getting employed is a positive thing that we are now able to show government officials that though they lack in education, with the right amount of time, patience, and training, they can work well”, she says.

 The daycare also provides counseling for parents and guardians of children with down syndrome. These counseling programs help parents be more aware of their children and be more attentive to their needs. “It also helps parents change their perspective of their children”, Thapa says, “Rather than being pitiful towards their children, we help parents gain confidence in them”, she adds.


Individual with down syndrome packing the products.
Photo: Satyam Daycare Center
Individual with down syndrome packing the products. Photo: Satyam Daycare Center

READ ALSO:

down syndrome intellectual disability Satyam Daycare Center Down Syndrome Society Nepal Shila Thapa Candles oil lamps Tihar
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