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