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2022 ASEAN Para Games: Children with Special Needs Inspire People to be Independent

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Photo: 2022 ASEAN Para Games

Solo – In addition to sports competitions for para athletes, the 2022 ASEAN Para Games Solo is also enlivened by the presence of various booths selling handicrafts. One of the stands that attract the attention of visitors is the SLB Mandiri Putra booth from Jumapolo Karanganyar.

The booth sells mugs, pouches, t-shirts and tote bags with unique designs made by children with special needs (ABK) at Mandiri Putra inclusive school (SLB).

“These handicrafts are vocational products made by children with special needs. What we display are products made by children with autism, down syndrome, hearing impaired, and physically disabled people,” said Fajar Riyanto, principal of SLB Mandiri Putra,at the exhibition area at the Manahan Stadium Solo.

The exhibition area is located right in the outer ring of the Manahan Stadium, across from the GOR Faculty of Sport,  Sebelas Maret University and the Tirtomoyo swimming pool.  A number of MSMEs, brands and SOEs also participated in the exhibition.

SLB Mandiri Putra booth selling products with the brand “Daun Untuk Indonesia”. The word “DAUN” stands for “From children with special needs for the country”.

“Daun” is the only official souvenir made by Indonesian students selected to participate in this exhibition. Most of the exhibitors in this exhibition are MSMEs who have passed the selection process, their products must be unique, can be sold, and highlight children specialty,said Fajar.

“Daun” product from the Putra Mandiri SLB is very unique that all the designs are original work of the students without editing. This makes the images on the product authentic and has a variety of expressions.

According to Fajar, every picture has a story. One of them is an abstract image in the form of circles that look like a human face. It is a picture of a student when he is feeling uncomfortable.

“According to the story from the teacher, one morning the child painted an angry person, with a bold red color. The teacher then told her mother that ‘there was a little emotion’ from the child, later the mother told the teacher that she had not had breakfast,” said Fajar.

Every product is labeled with the name of the student who made it. Like the abstract design that Fajar told about, the design is made by a student named Aprilia with Down syndrome who is 8 years old. “It’s the best seller here,” said Fajar.

There is one product that becomes visitor’s favorite, it is also made by a child with autism. The picture is simple, a picture of planets, and has been sold out.

Then, there is another Upin-Ipin character design. The student who made it was in a cheerful state, because he liked the cartoon character. “The expressions are different,” added the 29-year-old.

The “DAUN” products displayed at MSMEs exhibition at the Manahan Stadium consisted of 35 image designs. The process of making the product is quite simple. Children draw on a sheet of paper with colored crayons. Then the image is converted into digital form. After that it is printed and applied to the product.

“The image is ironed onto the surface of the product, by the children themselves,” said Fajar.

He collaborates with other MSMEs to make the bags, while the designs are purely made by children at SLB Putra Mandiri.

The price is very affordable, a 30×40 Rp white tote bag costs Rp30 thousand, a bag with colored materials is sold at Rp40 thousand. For products that are hand drawn directly on the product sold at Rp100 thousand.

“Like a bag with a picture of Rajamala, the mascot of the 2022 ASEAN Para Games,the painting process takes three days,” said Fajar.

The visitors can buy “DAUN” products at the exhibition booth or purchase it at Tokopedia, at @Daun – SLB Mandiri Putra account.

“We hope that from this sale we can save a little. Hopefully,in the future we can draw it using an iPad. Yes, it is still a long way to go. But our main goal is not to sell, but to explore people’s points of view and to inspire,” said Fajar.

According to him, many visitors are touched to see the products of ABK Mandiri Putra and realized that children’s works are unique. What has been underappreciated, turns out to have artistic value.

“We have a drawing teacher, and indeed the people’s point of view on art is different, right?. Just like the picture of an angry person,” said Fajar.

Photo: 2022 ASEAN Para Games

The drawings made by children with special needs are actually the product of SLB Mandiri Putra vocational program which is routinely held every six months. Therefore, according to him, products from Daun, will change every six months.

the children can draw anything. “This is a school assignment. But we don’t tell them what to draw,” he said.

SLB Putra Mandiri has 45 students with elementary, junior and senior high school levels. This school focuses on independence training. “To be independent, creative, productive and competitive,” he explained.

According to Fajar, the result is not the main goal, but the process. That’s why t-shirts with less than perfect prints are still on display at his booth. “This is not perfect because we are new in making products. But we still display it because it is part of the process,” said Fajar.*

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