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Jun 15, 2017

2017 Moving forward...until its done

Cristi's smile
Cristi's smile

Every day I mourn the moments I cannot share or enjoy with my niece Cristi because she has autism. Every day I am also hopeful as I celebrate her achievements and cherish her smile, which motivates me to continue working day in day out with optimism and determination.

Coping with this complex and difficult reality has meant reinventing my relationship with Cristi. I live with the conviction that her education is the path to her development and independence. As a result, my actions, commitment and solidarity to her have translated into efforts to enhance her education.

Specifically, 10 years ago I founded Autismo en Voz Alta, a foundation that today serves 400 families including ours. I believe Autismo en Voz Alta is Cristi's legacy and the way to honor the talents and differences of those with her condition.

Although my own involvement has contributed to the advancement of our cause, Autismo en Voz Alta is the result of the commitment, support and participation of many who have believed in a future for Cristi and others like her. I can only feel grateful and optimistic, because as Mandela said, it always seems impossible until it is  done.

This is why TODAY in the face of unrest, unforeseen challenges and circumstances in Venezuela, we are inspired and committed to the development and sustainability of Autismo en Voz Alta, an island of care and professionalism. How could we not be when every day millions of people that believe in a better future for Venezuela face and fight a complex and difficult reality of scarcity, insecurity, and inflation driven by the conviction that a new Venezuela is our legacy and the way we honor our youth.

We, at Autismo en Voz Alta, will continue supporting our community, working with optimism, determined to provide education to children with autism. Your support sustains our cause. We are grateful and honored by your trust. Thank you.

Mar 20, 2017

2017 new opportunities, new challenges, one goal: educate children with autism

Bonding our way
Bonding our way

Dear Donor,

2016 was a year with significant challenges yet tremendous progress towards our aspirations. In 2017 we are determined to accomplish even more.

We truly hope you continue joining us in our efforts. Your contributions have made it possible for us to maintain and improve the education we provide. They have also helped our students receive the education they need.

The deteriorating economic and social situation in Venezuela are threatening the wellbeing of all. The lack and poor quality of basic services has had a tremendous impact on the quality of life. As others in the country, the members of our community are also feeling the effects of hyperinflation. As well as the severe scarcity of food and medicines, and the lack of personal and economic security.

However, we pride ourselves on being a community where parents and students feel assured that they are receiving top-tier education in spite of the complications around them. All the while, our commitment to the families we serve stays intact. We are capitalizing on this, taking innovative actions and, a creative approach to continue providing the guidance our students deserve and need. In particular: 

Continued service delivery at the highest quality standards. Currently we are providing high quality education to 102 students and have served during the first semester of the school year over 300 families. All of our programs and services continue running with the quality standards our families deserve and expect. In fact, our most recent parent survey shows a 98% average satisfaction with the quality and impact of our education. We have re-organized 8 of our classrooms to include one additional student in each. We are in the process of improving our transitional curriculum for our adolescent students. We continue our coaching program for management leadership, and are reviewing our assessment services to allow access to families beyond the city of Caracas. 

Increased access to financial aid. As of February, all our students in our educational program are receiving partial financial support and 77% of them are receiving additional scholarship support. Furthermore, all the requests made this year for additional need based financial support were addressed.  We have also provided financial support for 15% of our diagnosis and evaluation services.  

Increased use of technology for more effective teacher training. All our staff participated in the digital, virtual teaching of PECS Level 1, and its application in behavior. Teaching virtually made the course an affordable and viable experience. This powerful communication tool increased the knowledge and awareness of those teaching our students, it is a key component of our educational framework.  

Increased well-being our staff. The program “píldoras de bienestar” to address the wellbeing of our staff continues, and satisfaction levels among our staff are at an all-time high. In fact, in our most recent survey 98% of our staff consider us an exemplary place to have employment, and 91% feels there are opportunities for significant professional development. Based on the principles of positive psychology, the program includes activities, and resources that do answer the most pressing needs of our staff from stress management to their entertainment needs.

We expect 2017 to be the our most challenging year to date. Our children, teachers and management are everyday giving their best to maintain and improve the education we provide, and our students continue to progress. You remain their best hope for our programs to continue delivering the impact we aspire to make. Let’s continue making a difference.

THANK YOU for being part of Autismo en Voz Alta!

 

 

 

Dec 19, 2016

2016 - a challenging yet rewarding year

2016 in review….a challenging yet rewarding year to mark our first 10 years impacting the lives of children with autism in Venezuela  

Dear Donor,

2016 was a year with significant challenges yet tremendous progress against our aspirations. The progressively precarious economic and social situation in Venezuela creates increased demands on our Foundation but also makes our accomplishments even more rewarding.

You are among the closest supporters and collaborators who make our dreams possible and allow us to make a difference in the lives of children with autism in Venezuela. We want to share with you our achievements and broad priorities for the year to come.

  • Continued service delivery at the highest quality standards at scale. Through creativity, your solidarity and significant commitment, all of our programs and services continue running with the quality standards our families deserve and expect. We are currently providing high quality education to 100 children and serving over 400 families.
  • Increased access to financial support. As of December, all our students in our educational program are receiving partial financial support and 80% of them are receiving additional scholarship support. Furthermore, all the requests made this semester for additional need based financial support were addressed. We have also increased the amount of financial support we provide for diagnosis and evaluation services.
  • Increased use of technology for more effective teacher training. We introduced our newly designed digital induction program for teachers.  The new digital practical training version of how we do things at Autismo en Voz Alta, is a powerful and effective way to introduce each new teacher into our classrooms and to our kids and has allowed us to raise the level of awareness and knowledge of our staff. As of today, in addition to 100% of our current staff, 17 potential new hires have participated.
  • Increased well-being our staff. To respond to the dire situation in Venezuela, this year we launched a program “píldoras de bienestar” to address the wellbeing of our staff. Based on the principles of positive psychology, the program includes activities, and resources that do answer the most pressing needs of our staff from stress management to entertainment.

Our children, teachers and management are everyday giving their best to improve and maintain the education we provide, and our kids continue to improve.  We truly hope that you are as excited as we are in our efforts.

We expect 2017 to remain extremely challenging for all. As the situation in Venezuela continues to deteriorate rapidly you remain our best hope for our programs to continue delivering the impact we aspire. Our priorities will focus on increasing awareness across parents and autism professionals through our digital platform, build a curriculum to support our adolescents transition into adulthood and exporting our services beyond Venezuela. Let’s continue making a difference.

As we near the holiday season, we want to wish you and your families peace, health and fulfillment. 

THANK YOU for being part of Autismo en Voz Alta.

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