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It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a child with autism to raise the consciousness of the village.

– Coach Elaine Hall

Adarsh Charitable Trust is a school in Kerala, India, for children on the autism spectrum, with cerebral palsy, or with Down syndrome. They focus on medical and therapeutic assistance; academic training specific to the needs of the children; enrichment of vocational skills; and, ultimately, empowerment of the child through physical and social support so that he or she may lead a healthy life of independence and dignity.

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our goal:  Support Adarsh Charitable Trust by sending an occupational therapist from the U.S. to give a 10-day conference on current international best practices for autism, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome.

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what is OT?

As it relates to the autism spectrum, occupational therapy encourages skills development through the use of everyday tasks required in life. It teaches students on the spectrum how to open a lock, or twist a doorknob, so they can do so at home. OT seeks to develop fine motor skills for the body and self-confidence for the mind, with the end goal of thriving independently in the workplace, at home, and in life.

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the project

| our objective is simple |

Send a qualified occupational therapist from the U.S. to give a 10-day conference on international best practices to the staff at Adarsh Charitable Trust. The therapist will spend part of each day observing the staff and practices at Adarsh, then lead a daily seminar to keep staff training current and enrich their continuing education after each work day.

Occupational therapy is a key element to skills development for children on the autism spectrum. Having an occupational therapist on staff and ensuring frequent updates to all staff’s training are essential goals for any school that helps children on the spectrum, with cerebral palsy, or with Down syndrome, and they are natural next steps for Adarsh.

Due to past successful projects, this time we also will expand to as much as 18 other schools in Kochi, India, by giving an additional weekend OT seminar. The project will achieve this through donations and personnel assistance.

For more information, read the full, detailed project proposal (PDF).

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past projects

toys & therapeutic equipment

In fall of 2014, Justin Loveland formed and led a team to raise funds IMG_2577and send therapeutic toys and equipment to Adarsh. The toys and equipment were specifically chosen by the clinic, and our team was asked to help provide them, as it is very difficult to find such toys in India. Through grassroots fundraising, in-kind donations, and partnerships with local restaurants and businesses, we successfully completed this project in December 2014 and sent these much-needed resources to Adarsh.

While this was appreciated, we wanted to grow our impact and do more to better these children’s lives. So, in 2015 we continued raising funds, and planned a trip to visit Adarsh in summer 2015 to help with various on-the-ground projects at the clinic.

community garden & library

IMG_2114In June 2015, Justin and Anna spent three weeks at Adarsh, delivering more therapeutic toys to the clinic and getting to know the children and staff. While there, we bolstered a community garden project by providing tools and working with the children and staff to clear debris, turn over soil, build simple structures, and make room for a garden with vibrant flowers (to provide visual stimulation for children on the autism spectrum), vegetables for the school kitchen, and other plants for future horticultural uses. We also helped in the library, organizing and indexing over 250 books to facilitate and encourage more use of books in the classrooms.

OT conferenceIMG_2559

Because we have been to Adarsh and successfully helped with several projects, the Trust asked our team for specific help with identifying and providing an occupational therapist to travel to Adarsh for the purpose of giving a week-long conference or seminar on current best occupational therapy practices in order to better fulfill their mission.

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ādarsh

Located in Kochi, India, Adarsh Charitable Trust is a rehabilitation clinic for children who cope with physical and mental handicaps; most frequently, cerebral palsy, autism, and Down syndrome.

Adarsh, which is Malayalam for “model,” started in June 1998 as a daycare with seven children. Since, it has grown to be a valued clinic, sustaining around 250 fulltime students, with over 60 of its students having progressed to pursue studies in mainstream schools, their confidence and social abilities boosted.

The Trust focuses on medical and therapeutic assistance; academic training specific to the needs of the children; enrichment of vocational skills; and, ultimately, empowerment of the child through physical and social support so that he or she may lead a healthy life of independence and dignity. They have a main clinic located in Trippunithura, a neighborhood IMG_2570east of the larger city of Kochi, and a new center, the Child Development, Evaluation, Intervention & Research Center (CDEIRC) in the nearby neighborhood of Vyttila.

Kochi can boast of 18 such special schools in or around the city, but while other schools specialize in autism, cerebral palsy, or Down syndrome, Adarsh specializes in all three. The inclusive atmosphere at Adarsh invites children and families of all stripes, whatever the child’s unique developmental stage or the family’s financial situation may be. Although the school has an established tuition schedule, they work with each family to develop a plan that works for them — often not charging any tuition at all. They truly want to help, and this makes the school particularly special.

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donate

The goal is to raise $3,550 for this project. Can you help us achieve it?

Your support is critical to ensuring the success of the occupational therapy program at Adarsh. Because this is a grassroots project, we rely on donations from the community, like yours.

Any surplus funds will go to Adarsh Charitable Trust either directly or as a part of future projects.

Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution today.

donate

To mail a check:

If you prefer to mail a donation, please make checks payable to Care & Share and mention this project in the subject line. Writing “Adarsh,” “India project,” or “OT-Adarsh,” are a few good examples of keywords to earmark your donation to make sure it gets to us. Please mail to:

Care & Share
16612 W 159th Street, Suite 204
Lockport, IL 60441

Care & Share is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization, which means your donation is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Their nonprofit tax ID is 36-3708966. Care & Share’s website is www.careandshare.com.

Workplace Giving:

Want to multiply your support? Often, employers have gift-matching programs to help support the organizations their employees care about. If your employer already has a gift-matching program in place, just ask around to find out how you can use it to support our project at Adarsh!

If you have questions on workplace giving, please contact me.

Thank you for your support!