Nov 17, 2020

Friendship and Learning, Learning and Friendship!

Friends to learn with... play with ...help complete a puzzle or build a lego castle... 
For many of our kids at Delia's Learning Center, this is the first time they have had a friend their own age.  Can you imagine being 5, 8, or 11 years old and due to a physical or developmental disability you are rejected from attending school?  No opportunity to learn how to build relationships with peers. No opportunity to learn from each other. At Delia's Learning Center we have a holistic approach and focus on all areas of a child's development: cognitive, emotional, and physical.

Our teachers and psychologist gently guide children toward appropriate social behaviors and encourage cooperative play and learning. During the past two months, we have continued to grow with additional children joining the twice-daily sessions at our Center. New friendships are formed as together, kids practice writing, learn to recognize the letters of the alphabet, or play numbers and matching games. 

What words are there to express when we observe that a child whose autism and lack of socialization has kept him in his "shell," is all of a sudden engaged in a learning game with another child. 

During this difficult year, we have all experienced isolation from friends. Perhaps it will give you a little boost to know that by supporting The Delia Foundation you have helped some very special children learn through friendship.

We wish you good health in the months ahead. Please reach out to myself, Laura Larkin or David Conway if you would like to know more about our work.

Links:

Oct 26, 2020

FRIENDSHIP!!

FRIENDSHIP! 

Friends to play with... learn with... share birthdays...help complete a puzzle or build a lego castle... 
For many of our kids at Delia's Learning Center, this is the first time they have had a friend their own age.

Can you imagine being 8 years old or 11 years old and due to being autistic you are rejected from attending school? No opportunity to learn how to buld relationships with peers?  Never knowing the simple joy of having a birthday cake placed in front of you while your friends sing and clap for you?

Our psychologist Lidia, and both of our other teachers gently guide children to appropriate socialization. When we re-opened our Center, we slowly got the children acclimated again. AND WOW!  What words are there to express when we see a child who rarely has smiled, beaming to have her friends celebrate her birthday? Or one day we observe that a child whose autism and lack of socialization has kept him in his "shell," is all of a sudden engaged in a learning game with another child. 

Well, there are no words... so with this update we are sharing many photos so you can see for yourself! During this difficult year, we have all experienced isolation from friends. Perhaps it will give you a little boost to know that by supporting The Delia Foundation you have helped some very special children eliminate the barriers that have isolated them.  

We wish you good health in the months ahead. Please reach out to myself, Laura Larkin or David Conway if you would like to know more about our work.

All Best,

Lauren Fishbach, U.S. Board President

NOTE: Our team always wears masks and we follow all hygiene and sanitization practices as mandated by the Romanian government. (We have just sent them special masks with a piece of plastic over the mouth area so that children can see facial expressions -- which is critical for communication with children for have special needs.) Per the law, temperatures are taken daily for everyone entering the Center. Our children with more significant medical needs have not yet returned to the Center.

Jul 20, 2020

Delia's Friends Learning Center REOPENS!

We had high hopes for this kicking off this new fundraising campaign. We had just moved into a new, larger facility where we have space to serve more children and where we have individual classrooms for each of our three teachers. The wheels were moving on our new autism program. Then, Covid-19 hit and we needed to quickly refocus on how to best help the children attending our Center. Before the Barlad community went into lockdown, we worked with partner Good News for Romania to purchase and deliver food to families living in the rural villages who were facing food insecurities. We swiftly put in a place a plan for Facetime sessions and phone calls to encourage continual learning, provide guidance to families navigating difficult situations and to ensure that medical needs were being met. Once the weather turned warmer, our teachers met kids outdoors in their homes, in the park and at the zoo!

Here's what we did not do: We did not launch the fundraising campaign as planned. The majority of our donors are based in the U.S. and in the UK. We felt that March and early April was not the right time for this campaign.( In December, we held a very successful campaign which enabled us to fund our autism program.)  We were lucky to be able to obtain a rent reduction, we continued to have the support of donors, and we secured multiple grants including a microgrant from GlobalGiving. We view this campaign as "on hold" and will turn back to it.

Delia's Friends Learning Center re-opened last week. We re-opened slowly with just a few children at a time and already have new parents hoping to have their kids join us soon. 

As always, we so appreciate the support of our donors and of our friends "on the ground" in Barlad who help us make this all possible!

Many thanks,

Laura Larkin, CEO, The Delia Foundation

Lauren Fishbach, U.S. Board President

David Conway, Trustee, Association of Delia's Friends

Links:

 
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