Great news from VC volunteer Aisling Foley who is Project Manager with Amathemba Special Needs School in South Africa. This is one of Misean Cara ‘s flagship projects in the country.
The school addresses the educational needs of children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) who, as a result of cognitive, behavioural and emotional difficulties, cannot cope within the mainstream educational system. It is one of only a few schools in South Africa catering for the special needs of FASD and neurologically challenged children.
Aisling’s advocacy on FASD program got a boost this week when a speech she wrote in conjuction with local MP Cheryllyn Dudley on violence against women and FASD was read in Parliament. The speech received a standing ovation from the EFF, the second biggest opposition party in Parliament.
Ms Dudley also called for a national symposium in South Africa on FASD so hopefully this may be the start of something bigger to raise awareness about the disability.
Well done Aisling!
At Amathemba, the trained teachers, therapists and support staff provide language, literacy, numeracy, life skills and social skills from the core curriculum, which consists of different learning programs carefully chosen and tailored to our children’s specific needs.
From the outset, each child’s specific needs are identified in an individualised education plan (IEP), which is constantly adapted as the child develops. This individualised approach to learning ensures the child is prepared for either integration into a mainstream academically focused curriculum or a vocational curriculum with the aim of obtaining vocational employment.
The progress that the children attending Amathema School are making is truly remarkable – some of these children who were actually deemed to be uneducable by mainstream schools, but have shown steady improvement and, against all odds, are now reading and writing.