General News of Monday, 16 April 2018
Autism Compassion Africa (ACA), a non-governmental organisation made up of physiotherapists and psychologists in its effort to create awareness about autism and provide support breakthrough for children with special needs has held its debut fund raiser.
The event dubbed “silent auction and benefit”, aimed at supporting the mission and vision of the organisation came off on Sunday, April 15, 2018 at the Afia Beach Hotel in Accra.
Speaking at the fundraiser, the Executive Director and Co-founder of Autism Compassion Africa, Whitney Hammel said that proceeds from merchandise auctioned will be aligned towards recruiting more staff to assist in the handling of students under her supervision just as their numbers continue to soar.
“We are here raising awareness about autism as its world autism awareness month… We have many students on our waiting list in Cape Coast for the school we have there. And so we are hoping to raise some funds to also help benefit those students for us to be able hire teachers for them.”
Ms Hammel disclosed that, due to the demanding nature of dealing with special needs children, intensive care is required thus staff are paired with each student for proper care and attention at the facility.
As part of measures to protect children, the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisah Djaba has indicated that the Akufo-Addo administration will not lose focus on securing better future for all children of Ghana.
According to her, government has resolved to invest in their education, health and protection of their rights at all levels.
However Ms. Hammel speaking to GhanaWeb revealed that, her organisation is yet to partner with the Ministry to secure funds to aid the activities of unearthing the potentials of special needs children at Cape Coast in the Central Region of Ghana.
She further bemoaned the lack of financial support from civil societies and government agencies given to non-governmental organisations working on building the potentials of the children in the country.
“We just opened our doors in November of last year so we do plan to reach out soon to the other Ministries to let them know what we are doing. We need to reach out to them to let them know that we are here. But as far as I know there are different organisations for those with autism around Accra and the support still is limited or non-existent,” Ms. Hammel stated.
“If we have the funding and support we can help more students make more progress. I believe that any student can learn, it’s just about learning what motivates them and how we can used that to capture learning to happen.”
Autism Compassion Africa through the application of evidenced-based Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy provide support to children with autism in Cape Coast and other communities in Ghana.
The NGO is a fully functioning center with 3 classrooms currently open. Its space includes a large courtyard where the students can spend time outside, on-site office space for staff, and on-site kitchen with a chef providing hot meals for the students and staff.
ACA also provides world class training in ABA for staff, families, and the community; supervision and support for Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) candidates.