Posted on April 20, 2018

Members from the African group, the Green Maasai Troupe, recently participated in an event organised by Qatar Institute for Speech and Hearing to raise awareness about autism. 

The group participated in the walkathon held at the Aspire Zone with the aim of lending helping hands to people with the Autism Spectrum Disorder. The group, which is made up of volunteers, took advantage of the event to raise awareness about different diseases and issues in Qatar. Currently, the group is among the finalists for Qatar Foundation's 2018 Akhlaquna Award.

The World Autism Day, which falls on April 2, aims to put spotlight on the hurdles that people with autism and their caregivers face everyday. Speaking to Qatar Tribune, Dennis Mwangi, one of the participants, said that, during the event which involved a walkathon and interaction with autistic people, he learnt a lot about autism. "Besides raising awareness, we also got to learn a lot about the condition," he said. He said they got to learn about some of the challenges that those living with autism face. According to him, they learnt about some of the factors that are believed to cause autism, including environmental, biological and genetic factors. "It was my first time to attend such event and I am so grateful that we were part of it with my friends."

The group members have been borrowing a leaf from the founder of Embrace Autism Car Wash in Nairobi, Kenya, Maina Gatheru, whereby the youth workers are autistic and others with celebral palsy. These youths learn some skills and have a chance to engage in a physical activity. The car wash is a non-profit centre for young adults to have some skills and help them to be self-dependent. On a different note, Qatar Foundation is set to welcome families and children with autism and wider community to its annual World Autism Awareness Day celebration in Al Shaqab, Education City, on Saturday, April 21. The event will be hosted by Renad Academy.

source: Qatar Tribune