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Special kids 'Reach for the Sky'

MAGALANG -- Scores of mentally and physically challenged children benefitted from the "Reach for the Sky 2" project jointly initiated Saturday by the Canon Advocacy Team and the SM Cares.

Some of the kids with disabilities were given a chance to experience flying on board ultra-light aircrafts and Cessna planes at the Angeles City Flying Club Woodland Airpark at Talimundok, Santa Maria, in this town, Saturday.

The children belonged to various organizations, including the Parent Advocates for Visually Impaired Children, Kythe Foundation, Philippine Society for Orphan Disorders, Autism Society of the Philippines, Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, Saint Francis School–VSA Arts Philippines Incorporation and the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Society of the Philippines.

The Philippine Air Force also assisted in this year’s event by providing a chopper, which was used in flying some of the children around the area.

The PWD (Photography with a Difference) -- Touching Lives Through Photography as an advocacy began with a chance encounter with 2008 between photographer John Chua and Ian, a 25-year-old youth with autism.

Chua invited Ian and his mother to the Manila Zoo as he had wanted to capture bonding moments between a mother and her son, hoping such photographs would give her solace and inspiration during difficult times.

Margie Escuelta, Canon head of Corporate Communications, said they sponsored and initiated PWD Achievers Reach for the Sky last year so that children may enjoy various activities, including flying.

She said Canon has also been involved in various projects as part of their corporate social responsibility.

The Canon A Team consists of some 80 volunteer photographers at present, according to Escuelta.

As part of its 15th year anniversary this year, Canon is also planning to conduct a basketball clinic for kids with Down syndrome and ADHD.

“We want to teach them so that they will be able to maximize their abilities and not their disabilities,” Escuelta said.

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Reynaldo G. Navales | SunStar.Com.Ph | June 25, 2012 | Article Link

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