Establishing a center for special needs originated from the need to help children with mental challenges and behavioral and emotional disorders that hinder their growth. The mission of the center is to help these children learn as much as possible and develop their skills in order to find decent jobs, become independent, stop any discrimination against them and to raise awareness.
Initially, the role of the center was more of caretaking rather than educational. The center now focuses more on developing the children’s vocational skills as well as artistic ones such as art, music, choreography, drama and sports which according to research, lead to better results. The center also admits children at a younger age (from 2 to 20 years).
The Vocational Training Program that the children of the center are currently exposed comprises a two-year training on specific tasks or jobs chosen in accordance with each student’s abilities. In 2013, the center graduated a group of 17 students. Five of these students were offered job opportunities in hospitals, three work for local businesses while the rest have been hired within the association on a regular basis.
Also, the center succeeded in opening a minimarket for the students so they can train how to sell. It was an additional field of training.
The center is very active in sports and arts. It has hosted the “Special Olympics” events for the last 17 years; an annual event whose participants come from all over Lebanon and the Arab World. The Art Club regularly organizes art exhibitions, inside and outside the association. The children’s drawings and art work can be seen all over the organization’s walls.
• Establishing a music band and a dancing club to participate in performances outside the center
• Finding new job offers for the students
The center helps these children learn as much as possible and develop their skills.