So, I was given an opportunity to enjoy a charity concert by ChildAid Asia in KLPac not quite long ago. ChildAid Asia Kuala Lumpur: A World to Imagine 2016 is a fundraising concert featuring collaborative performances by child talents from ASEAN countries mainly from Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines.
ChildAid Asia is an organization that believe in children, regardless their background or disability. Their mission is to develop a sense of confidence and purpose in life among these children and encourage them to stand in the eyes of the world brimming with hope and dignity through art and music. It is really a great organization with noble missions.
I’ll be honest with you. Initially, I was a bit reluctant to write about the concert. Why? The concert made me feel too much. It was overwhelming and way too close to home and at some point during the concert especially when a young blind and autistic boy conjure his magic with the piano during the ChildAid Asia Kuala Lumpur 2016 concert,my eyes grew watery. I felt angry, sad, touched and happy all at the same time. The feeling was indescribable. It’s not bad. Just too overwhelming to be penned down.
You see, I have a special need son in his tweens. He is autistic, socially impaired and dyslexic. On top of that, he also have sensory processing disorder to add in the whole package. Raising him is not only challenging but quite a hell on Earth, especially when he was much younger. My husband and I were accused of so many things, including child negligence and child abuse due to his regular stimming episodes and constant meltdown. Like most parents with special need children, charity concerts that features talented special need performers like in ChildAid Asia Kuala Lumpur 2016 concert is too close to home. To me, there’s too much emotions involved when I was watching the concert. Fair enough to say, I did not get much help and understanding, be it from friends and family members or the society at large. Support was practically nonexistent. I was mostly on my own in helping him being accepted in the society. It was just hell and still hell at times.
Malaysians in general are still not really aware what autism is all about and what it entails. Children like my son are often misunderstood and parents like us are often shunned in many ways. Children such as mine are stigmatized. They are interpreted as either misbehaving or spoiled rotten by their parents.
During my son’s younger years, especially when he just started attending kindergarten, I was told that my son should be locked up or chained up. I was advised to stop sending him to school as he was non verbal and not able to communicate the way children his age does, and at some point, I did pulled him out for a little while. The stress was too much for me to handle and I wanted to think of the best solution I should take for my son’s education and future.
Seeing how children, especially special need ones are not only respected but celebrated for being different in ChildAid Asia Kuala Lumpur 2016 concert in KLPac recently just moved me to the point that I broke into tears. It was tears of gladness. There’s hope for children like my son after all. Even if my son has no talent in the field of art and music, at least there’s hope for other children like him, and I am grateful for that.
I won’t talk much about the ChildAid Asia Kuala Lumpur 2016 concert. I’m sure there’s loads of reports about it around by social media influencers and also by mainstream media. I want to talk about how the children who performed during the concert inspire people like me and my son and the rest of the world. Here’s sharing with you some shots taken after the concert.
It was raining cats and dogs just right after the concert and the children who performed on stage for ChildAid Asia Kuala Lumpur: A World to Imagine 2016 decided to entertain everyone while waiting for the rain to subside.
13-year old Michael Anthony Kwok from Indonesia, born blind and autistic but a prodigy in piano, being guided to the piano by Yumi Chung.
Micheal Anthony Kwok, working his magic and making me wish that time would just stop, even for just little moment. Being able to hear him play the piano at such a close distance, is not only breathtaking, but inspirational as well. He made me think that children with special need and multiple disability are not a liability or a nuisance. They just need an unprejudiced chance to shine.
The young talents indulging us with an exclusive after concert performance at KLPac. The entire performance was about 45 minutes and unlike the concert that’s carefully planned and orchestrated, this one’s much more fun as we get to dance, sing along and get up close and personal with the young talents. Singing along to Michael Anthony Kwok’s piano rendition of various Disney movies soundtrack, from left, Gabri Panlilio, Cristi Madrid, Zoe Hong and Yumi Chung. Their performance were cheerful, unrestricted and simply mesmerizing. Michael Anthony Kwok also played some familiar classical number, receiving thundering applause from excited audiences present.
Up close and personal with Micheal Anthony Kwok. Looking on is Yumi Chung, a talented young songstress who also performed during the concert.
Despite of being different, Micheal Anthony Kwok is a very cheerful and affectionate child.
Yumi Chung, Micheal Anthony Kwok and Gabri Panlilio, obliging me for for a photography session.
On the right, the very friendly and approachable Cristi Madrid, another young and beautiful singing sensation for ChildAid Asia Kuala Lumpur: A World to Imagine 2016.
These children may be just children and celebrities in their own rights, but they are no ordinary child star. They are children with a mission. They are making a difference in other people’s life, especially the underprivileged children from all over the world whether directly or indirectly. Their noble efforts is certainly admirable.
Click HERE to find out more about ChildAid movement and how you can play your part like these children and make a difference in people’s lives too. And if you are residing in Malaysia, follow their Facebook page HERE for more regional infos and updates.