This grant will support the expansion of Camino a la Inclusion (Road to Inclusion) Autism Therapy Center in Costa Rica.
•The Center offers professional therapies to children and families of children with autism in Costa Rica.
•They are the only affordable Center in Costa Rica that provides comprehensive therapies for children with autism and the family.
• The national hospitals, including the CR Children's Hospital and PANI (National Child Welfare Agency) refer families to Camino a la Inclusion.
•Hospitals can diagnose but cannot treat autism.
•Currently there are 126 children enrolled at the Center. There is a waiting list of 114 children. Hospitals continue to refer families weekly.
•The Center has a staff of 31 plus 6 Licensed therapists that provide therapies in 7 specific areas.
Camino a la Inclusion has outgrown its ability to support more children and families. In June 2023, our Host club, Rotary Club of Cartago (District 4240) received a letter from the Director of the Center requesting help from Rotary International. Their need is urgent.
Current funding comes from bake and garage sales, raffles, and donations. Parents of children in the program pay $22/month for the counseling and therapies the children with autism need. These funds cover salaries for therapists and day to day operations (rent, utilities,cleaning supplies).
The biggest needs, and what this global grant will address, are for computers and software for evaluating children for intake, assessments, data collection & management. They need a way to manage and track the progress of counseling services, workshops for parents and extended family, and therapy devices.
Rotarians are needed to refresh the interior of the building including painting the therapy rooms, and possibly painting some murals. Also, installing software on new computers, building and/or assembling and placing furniture,bookshelves,cabinets and therapy equipment.
During this part of the project, Sponsor Rotarians are invited to visit the center often and visit with the families and children.
Creating Hope in the World for children with autism and their families extends well beyond this service project. The power of this global grant and the Rotarians who provide their time, treasure and talent is that Camino a la Inclusion will have the opportunity to share their data with the Costa Rican Ministry of Health for a positive and progressive collaboration.