On 4th May 2023, NakSeni hosted a total of 40 pax including People With Disabilities (PWD’s) and their families to a Nature Release programme in Sentosa Janda Baik, Bentong, Pahang. In collaboration with Yayasan TM and My WIP Healing, the youths and families were given a day of wellness activities accompanied by volunteers with the goal to explore nature, express themselves and begin their journey towards healing.
NakSeni, an organisation committed to advocating both inclusivity and accessibility amongst the PWD community, recently organised an extraordinary event called the Nature Release. The purpose of this event was to provide a memorable experience for youths with disabilities and their families, offering them a much-needed break from their usual routines amidst the beauty of nature at Sentosa Janda Baik, an idyllic location tucked away just 45 minutes away from the city holding 4 acres of lush greenery, arts and culture.
The Nature Release event marked the first excursion of the IncluCity.my initiative, a project by NakSeni, founded by Armani Shahrin. This initiative strives to map out the accessibility of spaces making it easier to find inclusive spaces and experiences for people with disabilities hence fostering a sense of social responsibility and empowerment for the PWD's.
This programme would not have been possible without the collaborative efforts of several partners and organisations. The event received invaluable support from Sentosa Janda Baik for hosting the programme at their property while providing delicious meals. Other partners included MyWIP Healing, a startup specialising in mental health education and healing efforts through therapeutic activities. The Nature Release program by NakSeni and MyWIP Healing was made possible through the support of Yayasan TM, a charitable foundation dedicated to promoting social impact initiatives. In line with NakSeni's commitment to social responsibility, 10% of the event's proceeds were donated to the Malaysian Rare Disorder Society (MRDS) as NakSeni’s beneficiary for this programme.
The Nature Release programme offered the PWD youths and the volunteers an avenue to embark on a journey of self-love and self-expression through artistic endeavours, providing them with a safe space where Ms Khairini alongside her team of dedicated volunteers via the SHIPS programme assisted the participants to express themselves and their emotions via encouragement, sharing and journaling sessions. The families on the other hand, had a few choices of activities whereby the first one was "Moving with Mother Nature" facilitated by Ms.Sofia Nurul, a movement coach. This workshop encouraged participants to connect with nature and their innermost feelings through sharing sessions and portraying it via physical movement, fostering a deeper appreciation for themselves and nature. The second activity offered for the families was the Guided tour hosted by Mr.Omar Ariff from Sentosa Janda Baik. The Guided tour enables participants to explore the breathtaking art and history within each thematic galleries situated throughout Sentosa Janda Baik. The tour provided valuable insights into rare Islamic art collections, antique household items, and the various art and artefacts from around the world collected and curated by the passionate Tan Sri Kamarul Ariffin and his family.
Aveena Devi, one of the participants who is also a wheelchair-user, shared her enthusiasm, expressing that it was her first time experiencing nature in such an immersive and accessible manner. “Firstly I love how 90% of the place is wheelchair accessible, it is convenient that they have a cafe , and most importantly I appreciate the owners hospitality and kindness” The event allowed her to forge a profound connection with the natural environment, leaving a lasting impact on her well-being. Terisa Chen, another participant who is also one of the mothers of the PWD youths, expressed her gratitude for the event, highlighting the importance of creating inclusive experiences for PWD individuals. She emphasised the positive impact that NakSeni's Nature Release had on her as a mom and her family's overall well-being and how this event provided her a safe space to express herself and share experiences with fellow mothers, gaining positive support from the women present. Sentosa Janda Baik also commended the initiative, expressing their desire to encourage more PWD families to experience the wonders of nature together. They acknowledged the transformative power of such events and pledged their continued support for similar endeavours in the future. Miza Marsya, MRDS Youth Lead, appreciated the opportunity to travel independently outside of the city for the first time. The Nature Release programme provided her with a safe and inclusive environment that facilitated both personal growth and cherished moments with her peers.
@weandi.nakseni Nature Release with MyWIP Healing SHIPS programme for PWD youths at Sentosa Janda Baik. #healing #journey #inclusivity #nakseni #mywiphealing #sentosajandabaik #arttherapy #movementtherapy ♬ Rockin - Chris Alan Lee
Overall, when we conducted the Nature Release program, Dr.Mei, a mother of one of the PWD youth's shared that she can see her daughter change and improving in terms of her social skills. She shared that she was delighted to join our programs and witnessed her daughter's improvement while thanking Nakseni. This particular program served as a stepping stone towards NakSeni's IncluCity.my broader vision of creating inclusive and accessible activities and experiences for the PWD community. Building upon the success of this event, NakSeni is determined to expand its efforts and continue organising similar initiatives in the future. On that note, NakSeni is open to collaborating with other organisations that share its vision. To achieve its future plans and sustain the IncluCity.my initiative, NakSeni is actively seeking support from individuals, corporations, and philanthropic organisations. By garnering financial backing and resources, NakSeni can continue organising and expanding its inclusive events and activities, ensuring that individuals with disabilities have equal opportunities to participate, explore, and thrive.