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YDA Lebanon
      Status: Active
       Lebanon
      15-November-2008
      Contact: Caroline Arbadji
      (00 961) 1-443366 or (00 961) 1-449988
      a d m I n < a t > y o u r d a y a w a y < d o t > c o m

"Lebanese Autism Society

Overview

Autism is a complex developmental disorder that appears during the first three years of life. It affects the way a person communicates and relates to people around him.
For more information, please visit www.autismlebanon.org

Who we are:
The Lebanese Autism Society - LAS is a non-profit Non-Governmental Organization (registered by official decree No.19 / AD dated March 10, 1999) founded in 1999 by parents of children with autism and concerned professionals. LAS advocates for the rights of individuals with Autism and provides them and their families with support and services.

What we do:
Since its initiation, LAS has been involved over the years with programs and activities that address the needs of children and adolescents with autism in Lebanon. This was possible through a modular approach that emphasized intervention programs, advocacy and awareness as follows:
- Early diagnosis and intervention emphasizing the development of highly structured, specialized educational programs tailored to the individual needs of the children with autism disorders.
- The promotion and support of the social and economic integration of autistic children and adolescents.
- Supporting and expanding the professional capabilities of personnel and institutions providing services to autistic children in Lebanon.
- Upgrading public awareness in what relates to autistic children in Lebanon.

Members:
To this date LAS has more than 300 Lebanese members, residents of Lebanon, Gulf and other Arab countries, Europe, United States and Canada.
LAS as an organization is also a member of different national and international organizations including the Inclusion Network, the UNAPEI (Union Nationale des Associations de Parents et d-Institutions pour Enfants Inadaptes), World Autism Organization (WAO), Autism- Europe, ARAPI and Arab Network.


Support:
LAS has been able to initiate and implement its projects through funding by both local and international institutions and governments.

LAS has gained over the years experience and credibility that have allowed it to attract, in the recent years, funds from different key international donor agencies in Lebanon including the European Commission, Oxfam - Quebec, Al-Walid Bin Talal humanitarian Foundation, the World Bank, Canada Fund, and the Council for Development and Reconstruction - CDR in Lebanon to finance different projects that included among others the launching of public awareness campaigns, the implementation of professional capacity building activities, the development of professional educational material, media products, networking and collaboration with the media sector and the provision of early diagnosis and intervention services in addition to academic and economic integration services targeting autistic youth in Lebanon.

In addition LAS is greatly proactive in seeking grants and in fund raising activities which allow it to obtain funds, support and sponsorship in favor of its different projects and activities. This, to a large extent has fortunately ensured so far the sustainability of its action over the years.

The forecasted budget for the year 2007-2008 is 200,000 USD. While 52% of the budget has already been supported by grants and funds from international and local sponsors and donors, LAS is expected to subsidize 48% of this budget.

Projects:
Current projects of LAS include:

1. Early Diagnosis and Intervention Center (Centre de Diagnostic et D-Intervention Precoce - CDIP) implemented with funding from Al-Walid Bin Talal Foundation is a center that provides early diagnosis and interventions for children with special needs. The grant amounted to USD 50,000$. The center was inaugurated on 19/4/2005 and has provided so far services for over 200 children and youth with special needs from all over Lebanon. The yearly cost of the center is estimated at around 66,000 USD. This cost is covered by fees for service (55%) and by subsidies from LAS organization itself (45%).

2. Classes for Children with Autism - CCA implemented in partnership with Lycee Abdel Kader is a school integration program that aims at providing special education for children with autism in an integrated academic setting. The project was recently expanded by introducing a new special education program / classroom to benefit an additional number of children with support from the Canada Fund. The CCA project was lately relocated to the Sacre Coeur - Jemmayzeh and is benefiting from larger premises thus allowing the expansion of its programs and activities to a larger number of beneficiaries. The yearly cost of this project is estimated at around 107,000 USD. This cost is covered by scholarship fees (40%) and by subsidies from the government namely the Ministry of Social Affairs (10%) as well as from LAS organization itself (50%).

3. Technical School for Adolescents with autism - TSA launched in November 2006, provides vocational training opportunities for autistic adolescents through special and regular vocational training schools in Lebanon. The project also provides support to parents of autistic children through training sessions and workshops that aim at upgrading their knowledge and skills in dealing with their children and planning for their future. This project is the continuation and expansion of the Project on the Economic Rights of Youth with Special Needs launched in 2005 with funding from Oxfam Quebec for a total grant amount of USD 40,000 $. The project has been of great value to all concerned. The yearly operational cost of the project is estimated at around 27,000 USD. This cost is covered by fees for service (50%) and from LAS organization itself (50%).

Challenges:
The major challenges faced by LAS this year include:

* The seriously distressed socio economic status affecting a large section of the population in Lebanon resulting from the recent war events. This has left an already underprivileged group of population in an exacerbated economic situation where the accessibility to adequate special education and intervention services is seriously limited. As such, LAS is constrained to subsidize the services for a larger number of families.

* The focus and engagement of the international community in reconstruction and rehabilitation, following the recent war events has made already limited resources in this sector even more scare.

* The limited national governmental resources.

* The unstable political situation and the general economic and social insecurity affecting all sectors is limiting the possibility of initiating successful and effective fund raising activities.

Contacts:
Lebanese Autism Society - LAS
Caroline Arbadji <autismlb@hotmail.com>
LAS
GSM:+9613752068
Lebanese Autism Society-LAS
TEL/FAX:+9611449988, +9611443366
POBox:113/5819, Beirut, Lebanon"













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