25 Children at VAC

The Vientiane Autism Center is bursting at the seams. In 2011 we built a three-room extension and gained additional space through other remodelling. This allows us to take care of up to 25 children, a limit we have already reached, with another 6 applicants waiting to be accepted. There is no end in sight. We are happy about every child that we can help and would like to open additional centers, also in other provinces. Unfortunately, we are lacking the financial means to do so. We have invested USD 2,000 into the extension of the covered outdoor space, in order to accommodate all children during breakfast and lunch break. The demands to our kitchen are also increasing as it needs to provide meals for 40 persons every day. Unfortunately, our kitchen is not automatically growing along with the rest of the center.
The parents of seven of our 25 children can afford the full fee of EUR 220 per month.
There are still 12 families who are receiving support from the fund which amounts to nearly EUR 1,500 every single month. However, the average monthly donation amount in 2012 was EUR 400 which led to a depletion of all our reserves. Our strong efforts to obtain donations from companies in Laos have resulted in EUR 1,500 since November. Since most of these were one-off donations, they did not improve our situation in the long run.
Several project applications to foundations and other support organizations will, pending approval, facilitate additional activities in the training and further education of our teachers as well as the parents of our students. They will not, however, help close the gaps in the VAC’s financing.
We are currently cooperating with the Australian Red Cross to prepare for the work of a volunteer who, starting in June, will support three Laotian special needs organizations in their fundraising efforts. AfA will be one of them.
On a related matter, some update on our property on which we are planning to build a new center in Vientiane. Luckily, only 200 of the 1,600 square meters are affected by the road construction project. However, for the time being we will not be able to use the property as access will be limited if not totally blocked during road construction.

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