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AUTISM in AFRICA:
Awareness and Action
Autism Awareness Month 2018, Senegal
CHIP International (CHIP-I)'s La Lumiere Bleue (Light It Up Blue) 2018 event on World Autism Day, April 2nd at the National Monument de la Renaissance Africaine, the historic national monument of Senegal, was a resounding success, bringing awareness of autism to the hundreds of participants and observers at the monument and to the many more who saw coverage of the event via various media channels. This is the third year in a row that CHIP-I, working with the Administrators of the monument, have lit up the imposing statue - the tallest in Africa - in recognition of autism. Indeed, CHIP-I was instrumental in Senegal's (and Ghana's) first ever participation in Light It Up Blue and World Autism Day.
As part of the awareness events for the month, there will also be a march through some of the principal streets of Dakar on April 15th. On April 26th, a panel of experts will discuss the topic "Inclusion of the Special Needs' Child in School". The experts will include a government specialist on inclusion, a pediatrician, a representative from Special Olympics and an education specialist. 50-100 people are expected to attend.
The autism awareness month of April will round-off with a children's day at the National Monument for approximately 350 children and 100 adults from special needs Centers/schools in various parts of the country. The children will be involved in the performing arts - singing, dancing, theater - as well as in arts and crafts for the day. Their arts and crafts projects will go for sale to participants and the general public, with the proceeds going the the respective Centers or schools.