Puppeteer encourages kids to open up and share stories

WATCH: Making a Difference – Learning to open up and share stories through puppetry

MISSISSAUGA – Steven Botelho is the creator of Our Space, a puppet show designed to help bring awareness to important issues that children and youth deal with every day.

“I suffered from depression and I still kinda do,” Botelho said, “which means sometimes I have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning.”

Following in the footsteps of his idol Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets, Botelho has become a puppeteer himself and is now sharing his own story through his adorable, handmade puppets by using elements of humour and education, and simply letting kids know that it’s okay to be uniquely themselves.

“I wish I could go back and change what I didn’t know,” said Botelho. “I do, I love myself more than anything and I just want to spread that love and spread the message of ‘Be who you are,’ and  ‘What does your heart say?’

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Botelho took his show on the road nine months ago, touring different schools across the province while customizing his performances to meet the needs of each elementary school.

His experience in puppetry has taken the show to new heights with 15 loveable puppets, each with a purpose regarding mental health issues and learning disabilities.

“I use puppets as a way of bringing a light-heartedness to such a serious topic that a lot of people don’t  really talk about now,.”

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