Living the mantra: ‘When you change special needs into opportunity, a star is born!’.
ARTPRENEURS FOR CHANGE (AFC) is a unique not-for-profit social entrepreneurial initiative engaging, enabling and empowering children with disabilities to become ‘Artpreneurs’. The project equips them with the training and tools for creative and artistic expression of self. We achieve this with the help of multidisciplinary and integrated approach uniting art therapist, artists, painters, clinical psychologists and special education teachers in collaboration with institutions for people with disabilities.
Our Strategic Partners & Beneficiaries
NAYA JEEVAN is providing the platform, mentorship, incubation space and vision to scale this project to become a social entrepreneurial initiative. Artpreneurs For Change (AFC) engages, enables and empowers children with disabilities to express themselves freely to the world through arts and at the same time raise awareness and funds for their needs.
Our initial or direct beneficiaries are 98 kids with disabilities in three institutions which are receiving art therapy: ACELP, IDA RIEU and DAR-UL- SUKUN. These institutions were brought in by our strategic partner NOWPDP (Network of Organizations Working with People with Disabilities). We have collaborated with LINCOLN’S CORNER and THE ART GALLERY for our exhibitions.
Funding is through the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF), disbursed through PUAN (Pakistan US Alumni Network) and monitored & mentored by the US Consulate, Karachi. Our Success Factor
AFC has successfully completed its test/pilot phase. The project has shown great potential and promise. Every day more people come in touch with AFC bringing it a source of strength and assurance to the sustainability and feasibility of the concept.
The journey over the past year can be seen on the official facebook page of Artpreneurs for Change. (http://www.facebook.com/Artpreneurs).
What Makes AFC ‘Different’?
AFC is changing paradigms for knowledge, attitude and practice by exploring social interventional power of arts (and art therapy) in order to effect change. We do this by improving opportunity structures around people with disabilities. At the same time AFC encourages the important principle of social inclusiveness and interaction of the general public with children with disabilities.
To materialize this, we have a trained, experienced and qualified art therapist, Ms. Shazia Mohamed, on board. She through her specially designed curriculum and integrated approach, has trained 22 people creating multi disciplinary teams of clinical psychologists, speech and language therapists, special education teachers and occupational therapist. These art as therapy practitioners (ATPS) provided art therapy to 98 kids every week from mid October to mid April.
AFC seeks to change what was considered nearly impossible in the challenging economy and society of Pakistan by breaking stigma in a socially conscious manner and helping people who are marginalized to stand up & become participants and agents of change themselves.
Background and Program Summary
Artpreneurs For Change (AFC) is a collaborative project between Fulbright Alums, Naya Jeevan, NOWPDP, and Art Therapists aimed at providing a means of expression to children with disabilities. The work generated through this project will be used to provide healthcare access to children with disabilities through a managed care fund.
AFC wants children with disabilities to participate in the stake of their own health and at the same time learn something new while having fun. Not only is art a form of expression that will help children showcase their feelings and ambitions but it is also a sustainable way of generating funds (at least some if not all) for their health needs.
People with disabilities are generally not provided health insurance by underwriters in Pakistan. This is presumably because of the fear of a high risk and thus over-utilization and/or too high a premium to be feasible. A few years ago the same risk was presumed for the base of the pyramid (i.e. people on the lower socioeconomic bracket). Naya Jeevan’s experience over the years has shown this not to be true. We hope to, over the year, see a similar change for children with disabilities.
To read more about Naya Jeevan’s journey in catalyzing the change please read the learning diary on the International Labor Organization’s Microinsurance Facility website. http://www.microinsurancefacility.org/en/learning-journey/managed-health-solutions
How will that happen? Naya Jeevan will be using a “managed care” fund. This differs from insurance in the same way debit differs from credit in finance. In a managed care fund, the front end is similar in all respects to insurance cards. The beneficiary will access the highly subsidized rates negotiated by the underwriter and have access to close to 150 hospitals in Pakistan. Unlike insurance though, once the funds run out the service is stopped. However, this gives us greater flexibility because the risk lies on us. We will be customizing plans based on the nature of disabilities.
For example, certain disabilities will require more funds and greater outpatient care such as children with muscular dystrophies compared to children with vision and hearing impairment. Roughly we think 200-250 Rs/month should be adequate. Also, any funds not used within a year are automatically transferred to the next year, unlike premiums which expire every year.
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