About the Winner
Autism Congo is dedicated to:
Educating children with autism through a school-based environment that promotes early diagnosis and therapy.
Empowering mothers financially through trades such as sewing, crafting, farming, and more, so they can regain their dignity and provide for their children.
Elevating the community's acceptance of autism by improving their knowledge and awareness of autism through workshops and community outreach.
Right now, as I write this email, there are children Democratic Republic of the Congo, who are restrained, held in chains and kept away from their community. Their mothers are ostracized for bringing them into this world. These are children with Autism.
My name is Therese Kolongo. I am from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). My son has autism, and I know firsthand the struggles and heartache involved in raising a child with autism in America and DRC.
In the DRC, children with autism are stigmatized as evil and demonic. They are bullied, isolated, and made to fast and pray to eliminate autism. Often, this stigma leads to abuse and homelessness for autistic children. Their mothers become subject to harassment, violence, and rejection by their husbands, families, and communities. They live in inhumane conditions and shame. The community considers them to be less then.