We are a small team of behavior therapy students who have recently relocated to Senegal, West Africa. Since moving here, we have been shocked to learn that, nation-wide, credentialed therapists and services for autism do not yet exist. Overall, there is less than 1 mental health professional per 100,000 people in the country.
As a result, many children with autism never go to school or receive much-needed therapy and education. They are often kept at home, where neglect can be an issue depending on the resources of the family. After seeing the great needs of the autism communities here, we have begun first steps towards creating a small therapy practice in the capital region of Dakar.
Though a handful of special education schools exist, certified professionals are rare. We would be the first credentialed behavior therapists in Senegal
to provide services to students with autism and their families. Our team is currently pursuing BCBA certification (to become Board-Certified Behavior Analysts) through a distance learning program over the next two years as we work with families in Dakar. We're a small project at the moment, but we're hoping to grow!
After certification, we will begin expanding our project to serve more families and hire entry-level behavior interventionists. We believe family and parent training is a vital component of any program, even more so in environments where services are rare, so that will be an essential part of what we do as well.
Any donation to this project will be immensely appreciated! Thankfully, we have been able to find a space for therapy donated by the Al Khayria school in Dakar, in exchange for services for their special-needs students (many of their students come from local orphanages). However, we still are in need of educational supplies and supply refills that will last us over the next two years! Our program is scheduled to start April 1st, 2018.
We will start with whatever we receive and work with what we have.Anything makes a difference!
Even $5 will go a long way here.
So please share with your friends and family! We welcome your support.
Thank you and take care,
-The Dakar ABA Team
P.S. Check out our new website! https://dakarabagroup.wixsite.com/dakaraba
P.P.S. Thank you to everyone who has donated so far!! With your help, we are now able to buy supplies and furniture for our fledging program. Though we will have other expenses later on, we cannot communicate enough the relief and joy we feel at knowing that our kiddos start out receiving care from quality supplies. We are overwhelmed by your generosity and sense of community. Thank you.
Further donations will go towards:
- supply refills over the next 2 years
- expenses for outings and field trips
- transportation reimbursement for families
Surplus will go towards:
- fees for consulting specialists (speech, OT, etc)
- transportation reimbursement for staff
- welcoming new students to our program if possible!Update July 6th 2018
Our therapy practicums have started, our new therapy room has been installed, and all is well on the home front! A huge thank you to those who made this possible. We will continue therapy with a small number of clients until the end of 2019, when our practicums are expected to finish. Before that time, we will begin concrete steps towards establishing ourselves as professional practitioners in the city of Dakar! This will allow us to expand, accept more children into into our care, and train local staff and families.
Below L to R: Quesia and Addie