Challenges of parenting a child with Down syndrome

My son had to be kept at the hospital for a month after being born because he had heart condition and kidney problems.

In the first month he wore an oxygen mask due to his heart condition. I had to feed him every two hours and constantly watch the oxygen saturation monitor. I prayed to the Almighty and asked Him to help my son breathe. Eventually the doctor told us that we could take him home, but we were very nervous and wondered how he would cope without an oxygen mask. For months my husband and I listened to his heart just to make sure that he was still breathing.READ MORE

Special needs parenting

I have recently joined Ann Foundation, whose mission is to empower and educate children with disabilities.

The founder of the Foundation, Ann Moideen, has encouraged me to write a blog in which I will share the emotional trauma, joy, love, hardships, and fun of raising my son. My hope is that my experience will encourage many parents in developing countries to better accept and better deal with raising a child with Down Syndrome or some other special needs.READ MORE

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What exactly is the Ann Foundation and what do they do?

Last week, on 19th June, 2014 I was given the opportunity to become a volunteer for the Ann Foundation. Upon seeing the role advertised through a sister site of the UN, I wondered, “what exactly is the Ann Foundation and what do they do?”

It seems crazy that in our modern, developing 2014 world some children will never get the chance to receive the education that they are entitled to. Just today it was announced in the Guardian Newspaper that the UN have failed to achieve their goal of Universal Primary Education by 2015 which in actual figures means that around 25 million children across the globe will perhaps never set foot in a classroom. The children who will suffer from this lack of education are dotted around the world, with the majority coming from sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. Much is needed to expand the resources and highlight the importance of giving these children access to even the most basic of education.READ MORE

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Current progress at The Institute of Handicapped and Backward People (IHBP)

Ann Foundation has established a strong partnership with the Institute of handicapped and backward people (IHBP)based in the city of Kolkata, West Bengal. Focused on improving the standard of living, the IHBP serves as a ray of hope for those with various disabilities, and for children and women alike.

The Kolkata, West Bengal project is a result of a collaboration between Dr M.A. Hasan Sahani, founder of the ,IHBP and Ann Foundation founder, Ann Moideen. The project started in June 2013 and the foundation and been associated with the institute since then this institute aims at supporting children, women and other vulnerable groups in the society. IHBP has been working in the field of disabilities since 2000. It provides education, training, rehabilitation and development to the physically-challenged children from the economically backward sections of society.READ MORE

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Measuring success of our teaching

Every Ann Foundation volunteer instructor I’ve interacted with has told me about the improvement they see in their wards from week to week. While affirmations of this sort are undoubtedly gratifying, a more concrete form of assessment scheme is critical to gauging the success of this initiative and using that knowledge to inform and improve our teaching methods as we go forward.READ MORE

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Volunteer Visit to IELC Blind School

Deepa Padmanabhan is an ESL Volunteer for Vellore Project. She joined the Ann foundation in 2010. During her trip to India, she had the opportunity to visit students at the IELC School for the Blind.

She recalled her interaction with the children and teachers of IELC to us with enthusiasm saying that it was a truly motivating experience. During their meeting, she was pleasantly surprised when the children welcomed her by introducing themselves in English. They spoke to her at length about their hobbies and their ambitions. Many students included learning English among their favorite activities, and some even expressed their desire to become English Professors. In fact, she says that two students from the school, Anbu and Sandini, have chosen to major in English Literature at the undergraduate level. She quotes a student who said to her, “English classes are very useful to me, they are great “. It was heartening for her to see their eagerness and motivation to learn.READ MORE

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The Sundarban Project

The Sundarbans project is one of our newest projects. This project is located in the Sunderbans region of India. The idea of the project was initiated last year when Kallol Gosh, Director of Samaj Unnayan Kendra, met with Ann Moideen, CEO and President of Ann Foundation. Both of them discussed potential teaching English opportunities for children in the slums of the Sundarbans. We were able to meet up with Nilanjana Chakrabarti, project coordinator of the Sundarbans Project, and discuss more about this exciting project.

Sundarbans is located is a remote part of West Bengal with limited access to good schools and scarcity for teachers. Most of the teachers do not want to teach due to its location; however, with the power of technology, Ann Foundation opens a world of opportunities to children in the rural areas.READ MORE

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New Project in Bargur, India

The Ann Foundation is always looking for ways to make all of your generous donations reach more people and meet the needs of more children. This time we’re doing it with a new project in Vellore, India.

Ann Foundation has already sent a trusted volunteer to Vellore, a city in southern India, to set up the infrastructure for this new project. She will soon be sending us the pictures and information from the field, which will be uploaded on the site.

We are excited to start this new center and build on other successful English and technology courses that empower and educate young people, giving them new chances for their futures.


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BULU Blind Center

This Blind Center was first initiated by some Missionaries who came to Cameroon. It all started in 1977, in Bavinga in Muyuka, in the Meme Division of the South West Province. When these Missionaries left in 1980, the government of Cameroon took over and a Presidential Decree was signed. So it has effectively been operating for 43 years now.

Access to this school by the blind population of Cameroon, is through admission. Talking to the Delegate of the Bulu Blind Center, he says admissions have already started, and is still going on. So far 20 students have been registered, and they carry on various activities. However, these are not all the blind people around that area, there are a lot more of them. Since entering into this center means paying some fees, most of these blind kids are not able to pay and thus, cannot attend. They stay at home and help themselves with the other senses God has given them. Some go about begging in the streets, while others are condemned in their houses. They are afraid to be knocked about by passing objects, since they are not educated, to walk in the streets like those who complete from such centers.READ MORE