The Inspiration calendar has become a feature at this time of the year for the past eight years.  It is a unique calendar that carries the work of children with diverse abilities. From January to December, every month has a painting created by children associated with the Inspiration Centre.  At the launch today, Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow celebrated the children who have diverse abilities. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

Duane Moody, Reporting

The Inspiration Centre officially launched its 2019 calendar and agenda at its offices on the George Price Highway in Belize City. The calendar features the artistic work of twelve children handpicked from clients of the organization. Today, the budding artists were celebrated at the launch.

Kim Simplis Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children

“The importance is really to highlight our children who come to the inspiration centre and get the services that they need. We have twelve amazing artists who over the summer did their paintings and we convert them to calendars for 2019. So today is really to honour them and to really tell them how inspiring they are because they are able to do so much, if only given the opportunity to do so. We also of course take the opportunity to break barriers in terms of discrimination against our children with disabilities and to really emphasize the fact that no child should be left behind, especially our children with disabilities—that there is a space for them in our society and we need to take that very seriously.”

Since 2010, the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children has been partnering with McNab Visuals for the printing of the calendars and agendas. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of the planners is annually gifted to the Inspiration Centre for it to carry out the services that it currently offers. But according to Creative Director Tanya McNab, they’re experiencing a decrease in the numbers of agendas sold.

Tanya McNab, Creative Director, McNab Visual

“Eight years ago, we started the project and we were really overwhelmed by its success and every year we are able to donate money—normally upwards of twenty thousand. This year, we are just under. Overall, a success because we sell over two thousand agendas so we are giving back the proceeds. But we are seeing challenges in sales in these years because people are going digital; they are not using this type of book. And so we encourage people to gift them and to not consider it as oh well I don’t use a planner, but more that I am making a donation to the Inspiration Centre to the children of Belize. And we will start to adapt to this new way. I think we will be coming up with some new products either this year or the following year because we are not giving up and we are going to continue the quest. We are very committed to it.”

The Inspiration Centre currently provides services to over four hundred special needs children from across the country.

Kim Simplis Barrow

“Four hundred plus clients that the inspiration centre has and they focus on different types of therapies: occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy and so many other therapies that are being offered here.  Of course we have so many other disabilities that need to be addressed and we can only hope that in the not too distant future, we can increase capacity and increase services. However, for the time being, it is really overwhelming for the inspiration centre with the amount of clients that they have and with the existing resources—both human and financial resources.”

Duane Moody for News Five.

The agendas are available for fifty dollars at McNab Visuals and at the office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children.

Channel 5