Hi, my name is Drew Sansing and I'm a high school student in California. My twin brother has a diagnosis of autism and has always had trouble making friends. To help my brother, my sister and I founded a nonprofit organization that offers a service called Friend in Me, which pairs kids with disabilities with neurotypical student volunteers for free games and conversations over Zoom every week. (See www.friendinmegroup.org.) To expand the reach of Friend in Me, we are partnering with another non-profit organization called Fondation Les Anges du Ciel based in Cameroon to launch our service in Africa. This service is called "Friend in Me Africa - Angeti." Our service is needed even more urgently in this developing part of the world where neurodiverse kids are often viewed by their communities to be possessed by the devil or the product of witchcraft. Sadly, this leads parents of kids with autism to hide their kids away at home and not send them to school. Some parents who can't manage their kids' behavior even chain them up like animals. (See articles below.) We are deeply moved by the plight of these kids and we hope our service can help bring about awareness and acceptance of those with autism. We also hope that we can bring a little friendship to these kids who have no other way to socialize.
Please help us launch and operate this service with whatever donation amount you can offer. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization so your donation should be tax deductible. Funds will be used to cover the cost of marketing, internet service, devices and equipment, training, and stipends for volunteers.