The Senese Secondary Inclusive Education overcame the odds this week and took part in the annual Teuila Talent Variety show 2016.
For the first time, the group of special needs students took on the challenge of performing in front of a big crowd and stepping out of their comfort zone.
One of the items was a siva Samoa performed by four profoundly deaf girls and another girl who has partial hearing, thanks to a hearing aid.
By performing the dance the girls relied on their colleague with a hearing aid to signal the change in action by nodding her head.
Another act from the school was the boys’ island dance in which the students pulled out a uniformed performance giving the crowd a huge loud applause.
The Master of Ceremonies (MC) and also the Samoa Tourism Authority Communications Officer, Su’a Hesed Ieremia said this year’s show was special and different.
Flagged under the theme ‘Beautiful Samoa’, Su’a said it was wonderful to see people with disabilities being part of the festivities.
He said it was important that everyone feels included and “this platform is for people with disabilities and everyone else to be part of the event.
“We are not only pushing for their involvement in education, but also through social events.”
Other talents that are part of this year’s Variety Talent are groups from Australia like Nesian Pearls, local singers, church choirs, school and village performers.
Su’a said the group from Australia were part of S.T.A.’s road show in Melbourne, Australia two years ago and had wanted to be part of the festival.
“This is all to promote and showcase our culture and traditions through different talents that our people have to offer.”
The Teuila festival continues with sports competition, Teuila Carving competition and the police parade.