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    USU Students Hone Social Sensitivity at Special Needs School

    A group of students from the Social Anthropology at Universitas Sumatera Utara engaged in activities at the Taman Pendidikan Islam (TPI) Special Needs School in Medan, North Sumatra. There, they provided creative lessons to children with intellectual disabilities. The students participated in various activities, including playing games, storytelling, and teaching the children how to make pencil holders from popsicle sticks, which were then decorated according to the children’s imaginations. All participating students displayed great enthusiasm from the start of the activities to the presentation of their creations.

    This initiative serves as a project for a leadership course. Dr. Fotarisman Zaluchu, a member of the teaching team for the course (with Dr. Irfan dan M. Rifa’i, MSc), explained that the project aims to cultivate social sensitivity among students through self-chosen and self-directed projects. This experience is intended to lay a moral foundation for their future roles as community leaders.

    The involved students expressed a strong interest in participating in similar activities in the future. Nadya Fortuna Gunawan, one of the students, mentioned an increased awareness of the importance of recognizing the needs of others and expressed a hope to engage with more special needs children in interactive activities along with her peers.

    Prior to the event, the students developed their own action plans. Dr. Zaluchu emphasized that leadership involves not only designing plans but also executing them, making these activities valuable learning and reflective experiences.

    Muammar Rifqi, another student participant, remarked that social sensitivity is an essential skill for students, applicable in their future roles as community leaders. Reflecting the leadership course’s motto, student today, leader tomorrow, he expressed a desire to help build communities that greatly need their support