As the month most associated with giving and brotherhood comes to a close, The Maia Chung Autism and Disabilities Foundation (MCADF) founded by Jamaican philanthropist Maia Chung, recently signed off on extending it’s reach, efficacy and networking capabilities; as it relates to helping Jamaican autism affected families, through partnership with the National Works Agency’s Staff Development Fund.
In a donor handover ceremony in the nation’s capital on December 16, the two groups solidified their commitment to partnering with each other to do much more through the Foundation to make the lives of the Autism-affected population better as well as improving their human rights access.
Chairman of the Fund, David Knight, handed over 15,000 JMD to founder of the entity, Maia Chung, a donation he said was geared towards the general administration work of the organization which is solely donor funded, a non-profit and a non-governmental.
The MCADF formed and began operating in 2008, turning 12 years old come, April 28, 2020.
According to founder, Maia Chung, who accepted the donation on behalf of MCADF, the foundation will need extensive and augmented help in this upcoming year, as the MCADF is to begin several new projects to further increase the gains it has already helped create for the Autistic people which, the organization serves.
Two of the projects that the board of the MCADF is excited to expand come 2020 are an upgrade of the first Autism Information Kiosk it created in tandem with the Jamaica Library Service and Courts Jamaica Limited over half a decade ago at the Tom Redcam Library in Kingston.
According to Chung, the second project is a series of press conferences that will become a staple of the MCADF where the Foundation will be facilitating quarterly press events for Autism affected families to address the news media.
She said this is with a view to encouraging more Autism-affected families in sharing their particular needs and concerns with the wider Jamaica to go towards breaking the stigma associated with Autism. As a journalist, she indicated that her experiences with putting faces to important issues tends to yield more and better results. Chung said that the Foundation is always seeking innovative, effective measures to tackle the Autism situation in Jamaica.
According to Chung, stigma and fear of embarrassment are the worst hurdles the MCADF has to face in mobilizing a better State response to the many needs of Autism-affected Jamaican. Families who fear stereotyping are not taking the responsibility of coming forward for the government to craft wide reaching responses to their needs.
She disclosed that the conferences will be followed by a sensitization session by MCADF officers to educate anyone who needs information about Autism in Jamaica.
Offering a big thank you to the NWA Staff Development Officials, Chung said the work of the Foundation continues to need donations of time, manpower and funds to keep the entity’s commitment to making a positive difference.