We work at the grassroots level throughout the Muslim World to counter violent extremism before it takes hold, to promote tolerance and understanding, and to foster better relations with the United States.
By Alexandra Johnson, Outreach Intern 2013
As one of our internship locations for Summer 2014, AUA has partnered with the organization IRODA (Parents and Children with Autism Initiative) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Focused on autistic children and their parents, IRODA raises awareness of autism spectrum disorder in Tajikistan, as well as provides training to government, educational, and medical professionals on the condition. IRODA also provides developmental and early intervention programs, life skills programs for older children, and lobbies lawmakers for support of ASD children and families.
In contrast to the United States, Tajikistani autistic children and their families often lack access to information or resources to support autistic development and societal adjustment. No state services exist for children with autism, and parents have little resources at their disposal to learn about ASD and how they can raise a child with such a disorder. IRODA, an organization made possible by several parents who have compiled their resources to help ASD children in Tajikistan, offers vital programming to children with autism in Dushanbe. IRODA is on the forefront of spreading understanding and creating positive, meaningful change in Tajikistan for those with ASD and their families, but help is needed.
Check out the recently published article about IRODA and autism in Tajikistan in Open Society Foundations. http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/step-forward-children-autism-tajikistan
Internship placements with IRODA provide valuable non-profit organization experience, educational and special needs experience, and a community where interns can make a significant and impactful difference. The prospective internships with IRODA in the 2014 Summer Service Internship Program are listed below. For more information, take a look at our website and apply by December 20th for a discounted program fee.
Web Site Design: intern to design IRODA’s website, as well as write and edit content in English for the site.
IT Education: intern to teach basic computer skills to children with ASD.
Arts Education: intern to conduct arts and handicraft activities with children in coordination with staff.