This happy young man is my nephew Claudio Yoshiyuki Zani de Ferranti and he needs our help.
Claudio is 17 years old. Most young men at 17 are starting to think (amongst other things!) of their future, learning a trade, going to University, or starting a job.
Sadly for Claudio, this will never be, but as you can see he is still looking towards his future with a smile on his face.
You see, due to brain damage at birth, Claudio is severely disabled both mentally and physically, and without the virtually around the clock care from his Dad, Hugh (my brother), and his Mum, Shizuko, Claudio is almost helpless. When Claudio graduates from special needs school next year he faces an isolated life at home being cared for full-time by his parents
Claudio is an Australian – Japanese presently living in Japan, where the government offers facilities for young people like Claudio to go to on weekdays, providing much needed care, respite for parents and purpose for these young souls. The problem is there are very few places available.
Realising this, Hugh and Shizuko need to raise funds urgently to secure a new facility and get it ready by the time Claudio graduates next year and that is why we need your help– to give Claudio and his parents a hope for the future.
The money raised in this campaign will be Claudio’s share of the cost of making ready the building where he and other severely disabled children will spend their daytime hours after they finish schooling.
Keep reading to find out Claudio's story but any donation towards building this facility is truly welcome so please share this on your Facebook page or via email so we have the best chance to reach our goal.
This is my opportunity to help as part of his Australian family
Thank you so much!!
If we can achieve this goal by later this year then Claudio can look to a future where he has a ‘work’ place to go, 'work' mates to mingle with and his own kinds of stories to bring home.
Hugh and Shizuko have given him a wonderful life so far and appreciate anything that can help give him a brighter future. Thank you!
Since birth, Claudio has never uttered a word - his parents have never heard him say “Mum” or “Dad”. He has the mental capacity of a two year old, cannot walk unless assisted, or feed himself, and suffers severe epileptic seizures at regular intervals for which he takes medication via a nasogastric tube. Caring for Claudio is non-stop and immense; only one parent can work and even that is a balancing act. The only respite till now has been the hours that Claudio has spent at his special needs school. By next year though, Claudio will graduate and that respite will disappear -he will have nowhere to go and his future seems destined to be being cared for 24/7 by his parents in their home with limited contact with the outside world.
Hugh and Shizuko decided to take Claudio back to Japan from Australia eight years ago (pre- NDIS) because at that time it seemed someone as disabled as Claudio would receive the most beneficial care and special needs schooling at the least expense.
However, that situation will in effect cease in twelve months’ time.
It has long been Shizuko’s dream to establish a daytime activity and care facility for Claudio and others like him where they can go after finishing school, benefiting from a daily routine outside the home and a program of things to do, work projects that they can actually be paid for, interaction with peers (similarly disabled young people) and of course the care of trained professionals.
That dream has now materialised in the form of “The Kerria Project”, a Japan (Saitama Prefecture)-registered non-profit organisation raising funds to start such a facility.
Good news! A prospective property has been found, but help is needed to convert it into an appropriate place for Claudio and his friends.
Let me tell you, this boy is loved and he teaches a lesson in appreciating the simple things in life. Though he is able to do not much more than drag himself along the floor and play with toys, he enjoys his life. He takes pleasure in music, sounds, light and patterns, and in recent years has started to smile much more than before.
If we can reach our goal then that smile will become even brighter!
THANK YOU FROM HUGH, SHIZUKO, CLAUDIO AND ME (Margi, Claudio's Aunt)!!