Shine a light for children with autism - Venezuela

by Autismo en Voz Alta
Shine a light for children with autism - Venezuela
Shine a light for children with autism - Venezuela
Shine a light for children with autism - Venezuela
Shine a light for children with autism - Venezuela
Shine a light for children with autism - Venezuela
Shine a light for children with autism - Venezuela
Shine a light for children with autism - Venezuela
Shine a light for children with autism - Venezuela
Shine a light for children with autism - Venezuela
Shine a light for children with autism - Venezuela
Shine a light for children with autism - Venezuela
Shine a light for children with autism - Venezuela
Shine a light for children with autism - Venezuela
Shine a light for children with autism - Venezuela
Shine a light for children with autism - Venezuela
Shine a light for children with autism - Venezuela
Shine a light for children with autism - Venezuela
Shine a light for children with autism - Venezuela
Dulce and Alfonzo developing skills at home
Dulce and Alfonzo developing skills at home

Dear Donor:

THANK YOU for being part of Autismo en Voz Alta. We feel blessed. It is a privilege. In these uncertain times, our thoughts are with you. We hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy.

I write full of hope, and extremely grateful. As a result of your investment and trust we have been able to have significant impact in our community. What we have built, what we have accomplished, give us the motivation and strength to persevere. We are inspired by our children, and the resilience of our community.

The pandemic is taking place in Venezuela under an ongoing severe humanitarian crisis and measures to mitigate the economic impact have yet to be implemented. The country is under lockdown and gasoline is scarce, severely limiting mobility.

As a result, we expect our community to remain home based in the near future. We are in uncharted waters facing a totally new and different challenge: coping and managing confinement and a change in dynamics at home, while ensuring our students with autism continue developing – at home - the skills they need.

For a person with autism, change, confinement and uncertainty are extremely overwhelming. He/She faces behavioral and sensory challenges that can be, and often are, disruptive for his/her family. For our professionals, providing services and helping remotely requires challenging paradigms and doing things differently.

In the face of such unique challenge we are reinventing ourselves to provide our community with much needed remote training, advice, support and guidance to address and meet the needs of their children with autism, while ensuring our community stays safe, healthy and productive.

As always, we are working hard, yet remotely, implementing several and innovative operating, organizational and financial initiatives to protect our personnel, effectively support our student’s families at home, while providing our services at the standards and impact level we are known for.

Specifically, we are partnering with our families to design and implement tailor-made home-based skills development plans, we have opened a telephone helpline to provide timely advice and assistance to caregivers and parents and, have created Instagram-live training to provide insights into most pressing issues. In parallel, our personnel continue developing new tools, processes and materials.  

We are determined to preserve Autismo en Voz Alta; a legacy that we can all feel very proud of. We are extremely grateful for your unwavering support. THANK YOU.

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Today January 20, 2020 Cristina Elena (Kikis), my niece, turns 20. Kikis is the person who, at the age of six years old became the inspiration behind Autismo en Voz Alta. Her smile sitting at the beach, enjoying her 20th birthday breakfast, making her own brand of bracelets, is worth more than a thousand words. She does not have to tell me – she is a non-verbal young adult with autism – it shows. To her all my gratitude, admiration, and love.

Kikis has transitioned into adulthood and is no longer a student at Autismo en Voz Alta. However, she keeps inspiring us. Kikis taught us that resilience, perseverance, and teamwork make what seems impossible, possible. In our case, building and operating in Venezuela an institution dedicated to the education of children and adolescents with autism. As I write this report, on her birthday, I cannot help but feel grateful and proud of her legacy.

Today Kikis’ legacy is an institution that serves 106 children and adolescents, and more than 400 families annually through a psycho-educational program, therapy, evaluation and diagnostic services. An institution that provides financial support to more than 80% of its student body and, has become an important ally for those addressing the needs of the autism community in Venezuela.

In 2019 we addressed the profound humanitarian, political and economic crisis in our country by reinventing ourselves and, approaching challenges with creativity and agility. We served 589 families – a 29% increase over 2018 - developed new training tools and services, and we made an alliance with Universidad Metropolitana to develop new services and increase the number of people we train and educate. We are very grateful to all of you whose support and donations made this possible.

We start 2020 with hope, working hard, taking additional operating, organizational and financial initiatives to reach an increasing number of people with autism, protect the purchasing power of our personnel, support our student’s families, while providing our services at the standards and impact level we are known for. We are committed to do so with optimism, joy and the pride of continuously growing and learning together just as Kikis, her friends and their families have taught us. The impact we have had in our community, what we have built, what we have accomplished, give us the motivation and strength to persevere.

If you are already part of Autismo en Voz Alta, THANK YOU, you have made it a reality. If you are not, I invite you to join us!

We are committed to preserve Autismo en Voz Alta; a legacy that we can all feel very proud of. The recurrent and continuous support of our donors, sponsors, volunteers make it possible.

Welcome 2020, Carpe Diem!

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Winner - Teachers Mobile Photo Contest
Winner - Teachers Mobile Photo Contest

Sebastian's happy face, as captured by his teacher, Fransheska Freites, reflects our enthusiasm and excitement as we start a new school year and receive our students and families.

Our families’ commitment and courage in providing their children with the education they deserve and need, despite the many hardships, inspires us. Their trust in our program and services motivates us. In the midst of Venezuela’s fourth consecutive year of hyperflation, and the tremendous negative impact it has on day-to-day living conditions, this is truly humbling and remarkable.

Thanks to you, Autismo en Voz Alta have been able to be of assistance. Today, 84% of our families receive support in ranges of 26% to 95% of the total cost, and we support 11% of our autism assessment services.

With appropiate on-going training programs for our personnel, teaching dynamics, evaluation systems, and intervention protocols, we remain true to our purpose: to provide need-blind, outstanding education for children and teeenagers with autism in Venezuela.

We are committed to “keep going forward”, and dedicated to our children’s skills development and the satisfaction of their families.

Your continuous support makes it possible.  THANK YOU.

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2019 Graduating Class
2019 Graduating Class

Today we feel blessed and grateful as we celebrate the accomplishments and, the development of our graduating class.

Another school year has successfully finished. Thanks to you, it has been possible. Thanks to you, our community has had the means to face and address the many challenges that have arisen as a result of the current economic and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.

Thank you for trusting us and continuously giving the support we need.

Below Miguel’s graduation speech. There are no better words to express his and our gratitude.

Hoy celebro el fin de una etapa especial en mi vida, me despido de grandes personas de quienes disfruté su compañía durante este año escolar, se que los recordaré, y en mi mente estarán por mucho tiempo, por eso quiero agradecer:

  • A Dios por darme esta maravillosa experiencia de conocerlos y ponerlos en mi camino.
  • A mis padres por impulsarme y darme su apoyo a pesar de las dificultades económicas y familiares.
  • A mis maestras por brindarme sus conocimientos y prepararme académicamente a esta nueva experiencia que se me aproxima.
  • A mis compañeros por brindarme muchos momentos divertidos en los que compartimos, jugamos y peleamos durante este año, se que los recordaré a cada uno de ustedes.
  • A esta Maravillosa Institución por abrirme sus puertas y darle a mi vida una historia diferente, llena de muchos aprendizajes que se mantendrán en mi corazón y en mi vida para siempre.

 Dios les bendiga a todos, los quiero y extrañaré mucho….

TRANSLATION: Today I celebrate the end of a special period of my life. I say goodbye to unique people, with whom I shared this school year. I know I will remember them, and they will remain in my mind for a long time. This is why I want to thank:

  • God for giving me this marvelous experience of meeting you and putting you in my path.
  • My teachers for giving me knowledge and prepare me academically for my new upcoming experience.
  • My teammates for giving me lots of fun moments where we shared, played and fought. I know I will remember each of you.
  • This wonderful institution for opening the doors and giving my life a different story, full of learnings that will remain forever in my life and heart.

God bless you all, I love you and will miss you a lot.

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Organization Information

Autismo en Voz Alta

Location: Caracas - Venezuela
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Aenvozalta
Project Leader:
Marianella Paul
Caracas, Venezuela

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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