World Autism Day - 2014
Under the motto “April the Second is Our Day, and Your Support is Our Hope”, Al Faisalya Women Welfare Society in Jeddah, represented by Jeddah Autism Center celebrated the events of Autism World Day on 2nd April 2014. The celebration aimed to raise cultural awareness about autism and shed light on this issue. This affects positively on discovering cases and making early intervention programs succeed, through , rehabilitation, and social and parental participation in developing services and aspects of care needed by autistic individuals and their families. The campaign was launched this year in collaboration with several voluntary and institutional bodies revealing the unity and solidarity of individuals and organizations’ efforts to support autistic individuals and also encouraging new people to join the Volunteer Group of Autism Friends.
Jeddah Autism Center organized several events on this occasion starting from flying blue balloons in the sky of Jeddah Corniche as part of the world campaign (lighten our sky with blue).The voluntary team “For Our Country” celebrated as a friend of autism by organizing a party in the headquarters of Al Mashfa Hospital in King Street, under the motto of "April the Second is Our Day, and Your Support is Our Hope".
Moreover, Jeddah Autism Center participated in a lecture entitled “Difficulties and Obstacles Facing the Charity Autism Centers in the Kingdom” through an invitation by King Abdul Aziz University, female students sector, among the events of the University on Autism World Day. This participation is accompanied by an awareness table about the Center’s services and activities as well as another participation with King Abdul Aziz University, boys sector on 29-30 April.
Within the event of linking the common objectives between Jeddah Autism Center and Saudi My Bicycle Group to serve the community, direct social responsibility programs and support voluntary human issues, Corniche Rosewood Hotel hosted the launching campaign of “Bicycles Marathon” to spread the culture of riding bicycles to stay healthy, encourage voluntary aspects, and activate participation of youth in charity programs. This sheds light on autism and raises community awareness of this disability through a procession that started from the Rosewood Hotel along Jeddah cornice at 4:00 p.m. with participation of Jeddah Autism Center students and My Wheels team (Hassan and Hussein Bin Mahfouz).
To achieve the objective of celebrating autistic individuals’ unique abilities and skills, supporting, and encouraging their talents, the art exhibition of Jeddah Autism Center students coincided with celebrating the Autism World Day events. In the evening of Wednesday 2nd April 2014, the events were concluded by inaugurating the art fair "Challenge and Creativity". This exhibition was under the patronage of the artist Mrs. Safia Bin Zaqr. It was carried out in the center of Red Sea commercial mall located in Nafourah Region. There will be a live and effective participation by Jeddah Autism Center talented students at the art workshop. Attendees had the opportunity to participate in coloring this occasion’s motto within a big mural to join and interact directly with the campaign. During the exhibition , students’ art works was displayed from the results of the Young Rembrandts Program. It is a program recognized in art education. The program was established in 1998 as a world leading company in art education programs to educate children with drawing basics. This participation and buying the program’s rights provided ideas and techniques to help Jeddah Autism Center students benefit from tangible visual items and enrich their imagination and minds.
Jeddah Autism Center hopes to make a remarkable and serious change in autistic individuals’ lives by organizing these events which coincide with the celebration of Autism World Day. Although autism cases are increasingly recognized among scientific and health communities and health care departments, the awareness level is still low. Therefore, the annual celebration of world day for awareness of autism is important. It is considered an opportunity to encourage people to help. This enforces the position of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia globally by responding to this campaign which will be presented in the report of world organizations working in autism field.