For Autism Awareness month, Saigon Children’s Charity (saigonchildren) announced Vietnam Autism Alliance (VAA) and launched a website with information on autism (www.tukylagi.com).
Vietnam Autism Alliance is a strategic partnership between organizations with expertise or interest in autism spectrum disorder in Vietnam. Members of VAA includes: Saigon Children’s Charity, Vietnam Autism Network, Mr. Thanh Bui, and experts from the Center for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population, National Special Education Center – Vietnam National Institute of Educational Sciences, Hanoi National University of Education, Ho Chi Minh City University of Education, Children’s Hospital 1, Gia Khang International Hospital, CMI International Hospital, Simba development team and Monstar Lab, Da Nang University of Medical Technology and Pharmacy, and SENIA Vietnam.
At the event, Saigon Children’s Charity also introduced its third edition of “The Steps Challenge” with the message “Step Up for Autism.
Support creating a holistic national programme on autism
With the aim of bringing together organisations and individuals who are experts in their fields related to support for autism such as medical, therapy, education, care, and technology, VAA hopes to foster awareness on autism support activities so people with autism and their families can access timely and appropriate support. At the same time, organisations and individuals working in the autism field can more easily coordinate and collaborate in continuing the momentum of support for autism in Vietnam.
As a British charity organisation operating in Vietnam with a mission to help disadvantaged children remove barriers to education, Saigon Children’s Charity Special Education program supports children with autism through organising free guidance courses for parents, free training courses for practitioners, and especially free early intervention classes for children with autism from disadvantaged families.
Autism Spectrum Disorder in Vietnam is still a relatively new issue for the majority of the public. Since working at Saigon Children’s Charity, with projects supporting children with autism and their families, we found that general support for autism is still quite fragmented, and a single organization cannot undertake the issue itself. In order to provide the best support to the people of Vietnam, it is essential to convene all of the parties working to improve research, pedagogy, therapy, intervention, and support in the field.Mr Damien Roberts, Director of Saigon Children’s Charity.
Saigon Children’s Charity is committed to fundraising for projects within a collaborative framework, involving: translating and sharing of leading research and resources from around the world for students, teachers, parents; providing and guiding pathways of support and therapy; increasing community understanding; supporting the development of a comprehensive national program.
Walking challenge to raise awareness about autism
At the event, Saigon Children’s Charity also announced the launch of the 2021 The Steps Challenge. For its third comeback, The Steps Challenge calls on the community to partake in an online walking challenge to raise awareness on autism spectrum disorder. At the same time, each registration directly contributes VND130,000 to activities supporting children with autism in disadvantaged circumstances such as: knowledge building for parents; training for practitioners; providing free early intervention therapy for children.
First launched in 2019, The Steps Challenge has gained widespread recognition in the community through encouraging people to be active for their own health, and for the benefit of society. In the previous 2 years, The Steps Challenge has accumulated over 3 million steps and raised over 1 billion VND, contributing to autism support activities (2019) and emergency support for children with autism affected by COVID-19 pandemic (2020).
With a registration fee of VND250,000, The Steps Challenge is an opportunity for people of all ages and physical abilities to participate in a meaningful community activity. Participants can select different challenge levels 50,000, 100,000, 200,000, 300,000 steps to complete within 30 days of registration. Not only is this an opportunity to exercise and improve one’s health, each step taken by a participant also contributes directly to the spread of awareness on autism, and support for children with autism in disadvantaged circumstances.
Registration for The Steps Challenge is open until the end of April 2021.
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