ACAP is a project that has been organized on the 01/02/2021 and successfully accomplished on 30/06/2021 by the Faculty of Pharmacy of Tishk International University, under the supervision of Assistant Lecturers Ms. Amani Tahsin and Dr. Rozhan Arif, and the participation of students from all grades. The project was conducted over 6 months, focusing on the hurdles that people with autism face every day. Through the cooperation with Hana Autism Centre in Erbil, the organizers of this project undertook several activities with the aim to increase the understanding and acceptance of autistic people. Our team provided learning materials and arranged activities to help them develop their unique talents.
The project process required many gradual steps which initially began by contacting the center’s director for permission. The organizers established a communication group with volunteers, listing responsibilities, and distributing duties. Meetings with the volunteers were also conducted to design the application, assign them tasks and schedule the activities.
The second part involved preparations for workshops to raise the awareness of Autism for University students, staff, and parents with autistic children. Despite the successful preparations, all activities were canceled due to the Covid-19 Pandemic however, our team still succeeded in raising awareness on autism amongst our community by sharing the experience of parents and institutions that deal with autistic children. The sessions allowed others to understand the form of special support and care provided to autistic children, and also experts were able to advise parents and care centers on the children’s education development, and what is required to help maintain the child’s mental and physical health.
Fundraising events were planned to gather support and financial aid from people outside the university through selling homemade food and handmade accessories however, due to the health situation and the instructions set by the Ministry of Health, the events were likewise canceled. Funds were therefore gained by direct charity collected by the student volunteers. Two groups comprising of staff and students from different grades visited Hana Autism Centre and spent unforgettable moments with the strong little warriors. The participating volunteers were acquainted with autism awareness and all have great interest in charity work, philanthropy, and community service.
The event included a tour of the center and a visitation to all the different classrooms within. A gathering was held with the autistic children, and the team expressed great love and friendliness towards the beautiful children.
This provided the group an opportunity to interact with the tender-heart battlers and witness their daily life struggles. The volunteers further exchanged ideas with the staff of Hana Centre and had many inquiries regarding the needs of the foundation and children, in order to gain a better understanding of the center’s mission and future plans. At the end of the visit, further steps were planned to fulfill the demands of the autistic children and provide them with more facilities.
The last visit to Hana Autism Center was conducted on the 29th of June, 2021. The staff and student volunteers purchased many educational tools such as practicing materials, puzzles, musical instruments (Korg, melodicas, and violin). Using the funds raised, the team was able to design and prepare a music room for the children, in order to help improve their motor and mental skills. The funds also helped provide certain demands that would help to ease the children’s daily life struggles. The volunteers enjoyed playing football and performing several other activities with the children before taking a photo together.
Both our team and the center enjoyed this event and were extremely content with the outcome of the visit: it assured the volunteers and cultivated an intuit of service to their community and people in need.
Link for the Autism Care activities: