The Oceania Province will contribute to this year’s Order-wide appeal for financial support in the setting up of an early detection and intervention program for the treatment and care of children with cognitive disabilities at the St. John of God Centre in Velloor, India. The children, who are referred to by the Centre as “other abled”, is one of the most important facilities in India for the treatment and care of disabled children. It fosters the holistic development of intellectually-challenged children, promoting their well-being, and providing them with an education, and rehabilitation.The children are helped to acquire a certain degree of independence in their everyday lives, and to take up their rightful place in their families and in society in general. Today, the Centre has a special school for educating children with cognitive impairment, and provides some residential facilities for them, according to their ages. Based on the experience of over 22 years at Velloor, the education given these children is very effective. The plan to introduce an early intervention program in the Centre aims at providing timely specialised support for children with disabilities, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), retarded development, and other needs.
The target set for the fundraising to which all Provinces of the Order will contribute is 380,000 Euros (or approximately A$700,000). These annual appeals within the Order are highly successful and last year’s appeal resulted in 307,423 Euros being applied to the provision of 78,000 nutritious meals to poor persons at Caracas and Maracaibo in Venezuela which is in the throes of its worst humanitarian crisis in modern times with hyperinflation, runaway devaluation of the local currency, and a slump in the production of goods and services, affecting every part of the complex social fabric.