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Jasmine Fowler - Villa Maria

Video URL
Tue 4 July 2017
Audio description

When I told a lot of people that I was coming here as a volunteer, a lot of people go “Isn't that really sad. Doesn't it upset you seeing these kids with these disabilities?” I think it's important to see the ability of the kids and the joy that you can get out of them and as soon as you walk through those doors every single child is happy that you are there.

It makes me feel like I've opened to curtain to a place that not a lot of society sees.

I spent four years doing dance as a form of communication and at the end of the day we're looking to connect with an audience and tell a story and have formed some sort of relationship with the people that you are dancing with and I think that's the same with the kids. Doing this, you're forming a relationship with them. One of the kids might absolutely love the guitar and so you form a relationship with him or her through the guitar.

So George is 12 years old and was born without arms and he has a limited hearing as well. When I first met him I thought, “How am I going to communicate with this boy, like how am I going to develop a relationship with him and how do I know that he wants to have that communication with me or that relationship with me? Just how is he going to let me know that?”

So I sat behind in one day put my arms around him and clapped his hands and he likes the contact of your hands closing around his hands and you look down to his face and he's got a bit of a grin on it and then once you open your hands again he said sort of reaches for your hands and tries to bring them back together over his. And that's his way of saying “Keep going again, again please.”

He likes to get the chimes and touch them on his face. It’s a mix of making a sound with them but also sort of feeling what is actually using. He likes high-pitched noises because you can detect them a bit more. He likes the vibration of the drum.

The main point of coming here is to come here with an extremely open mind and the more probably more importantly a really open heart. I've got a lot of love to give which is probably why I come here. So come here with love and honesty and a genuine passion and a genuine concern and care and support for these kids. But not only the kids, but for the families. You know some of these kids have been adopted so you need to be very respectful to the family.

I don't necessarily turn up thinking I'm a volunteer. I've turn up thinking that I'm really lucky to have been allowed through the doors and to spend time with these kids and then I do get to share in their lives that little bit. Obviously these kids are giving me a lot back and that's why I leave here at three o'clock every Friday with a really huge smile on my face.