A community empowerment group, AID Ghana, has made donations of various items including stationery, learning and teaching materials and toiletries to the Autism Awareness Care and Training (AACT), to mark this year’s Autism Awareness Month of April.
Speaking at a brief ceremony to present the items, President of the group, Richmond Adu-Worae, called for more sensitization of the general public on autism to combat the stigma that is associated with the condition.
“It is important that Ghanaians are made to understand that autism is never a curse and that persons with autism are only special and need to be cared for with patience and compassion” he stated.
Mr. Adu-Worae further stressed that, “organizations providing care for autistic children must be supported by the general public, Corporate Ghana and other benevolent organizations.
He also called on government to provide more care, training centers and resources to autistic people to enable them participate effectively and meaningfully to society.
On her part, Founder and Director of the Autism Awareness Care and Training (AACT) center, Serwah Quaynor, expressed her profound gratitude to the group and made a clarion call on the public to shun all forms of stigmatization against autistic children.
She further called on other youth-based organizations to emulate AID Ghana and the gesture extended towards her organization, and other organizations committed to positive social initiatives.
According to Serwah Quaynor, her “motivation to start the center was borne out of frustration and anxiety when she returned home from abroad over fifteen years ago with an autistic child and found that there were no centers and no resources to assist her in raising him.”
“When I returned to Ghana some fifteen years ago, searching for autism services for my son proved rather difficult. Nortey was sixteen years old with raging hormones, many challenging behaviours, ranging from self-injurious behaviours (Sib’s), aggression, insomnia, to mention a few. At the time, there was very little help for me and him, so I started a rigorous awareness campaign which culminated in the commencement of the Autism Awareness Care and Training centre.
The Autism Awareness Care and Training centre, which started in 1998 at Kokomlemle, currently has about 40 children in its care ranging from pre-schoolers to young adults.
AID Ghana comprises a group of young professionals from various backgrounds who are committed to contributing their resources to help underprivileged and marginalized people.
By: Kwame Botchway/Ghana