Buçimas Children's Learning Center

Drini at camp.JPG

summary

In the southeastern Albanian city of Pogradec, there is a severe shortage of services for children with learning differences, such as Down Syndrome and autism. Nehemiah Gateway offers these services free of charge to about 50 children per year. We are fundraising to add two additional therapy/class rooms and staff to our existing facilities. This will allow us to improve our services and increase capacity by about 10 more children yearly.

challenge

The severe shortage of services for children with learning differences in Pogradec-and in Albania generally-means that many children born with conditions like Down Syndrome and autism never access the early intervention services that could help them learn, grow, and interact with the world around them. Because we offer one of the few free programs in Pogradec, our existing space and staff are always at or over capacity. Increased space will allow us to serve more children.

Solution

This campaign will fund two additional therapy/class rooms, with attached waiting area and bathroom, adjacent to our existing clinical space. We will hire additional staff when the new rooms are complete. Increased staffing and space will allow us to increase the hours available to each child, greatly amplifying the impact, and will also allow us to add about 10 new children per year-children who would be unlikely to access to essential early services otherwise.

long-term impact

Early and consistent access to speech, occupational, and other therapists can help children with Down Syndrome, autism, and other developmental conditions to reach their fullest potential-yet in Pogradec, especially for poor families, it is almost impossible to access those treatments. This project will help about 60 low-income children yearly, giving them improved tools to interact with their world, and, for some, the skills they need to go to school, gain an education, and live independently.