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SMARTER Brunei celebrates 9 years

Last night, SMARTER Brunei celebrated its 9th Year Anniversary with a breaking fast ceremony in Sengkurong. Present were all the SMARTER Brunei families and staff of the SMARTER Brunei Center.

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Handing over proceeds from Momz Mooncake sale

Words from the President:

With all the success that we achieved since SMARTER Brunei’s inception last 9th September 2001, we have moved a long, long way.

Some of our achievements include:

  1. Member of the World Autism Organization since 2002
  2. 34th member of the Asia Pacific Center for Disability (January 2010)
  3. Has met the INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS (Autism Program Quality Indicator, New York, 2001) and is LEADING REGIONAL BODY that provides WORLD CLASS QUALITY SERVICE according to Associate Professor, Dr. Verity Bottroff, Head of Disability Studies, Flinders University, South Australia
  4. Has met all the 19 items in the CHARTER FOR PERSONS WITH AUTISM (European Parliament, 9th of May 1996)
  5. Is recognized by THE NATIONAL AUTISTIC SOCIETY United Kingdom as being ON PAR with the UK’s BEST according to Jo Stevens and Anne-Marie Harrison, Director and Trainer, National Autism Society’s Early Bird Programme, South Yorkshire, UK
  6. Has been invited to share the SELF-HELP ORGANIZATION’S CONTRIBUTION TO INCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT in the Workshop for the Capacity Development of Self-Help Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (CDSHOD), Bangkok Thailand
  7. Has been invited to share THE BEST PRACTICES IN THE REGION in the Regional Conference on Disability on Commonwealth Asia, Bangalore, India, Dec 2008

The latest one is to be filmed and interviewed for a special programme by the Supreme Master Television (SMTV), a Taipei station based in the United States. Their interest in making a special programme about SMARTER Brunei is an honour. We are pleased that we have reached out on an international level and proved that we can empower our IWAs when they were interviewed and were able to share something about their interest and themselves. Hopefully, the special programme they did will come out during our 9th Year Celebration.

Bearing all these in mind, OUR JOURNEY NEVER STOPS. We still have a lot of things to look forward to. In the moment, one of the most important aspects of our journey is to look at the SMARTER’s role in the IWA’s life in their adolescent stage. Remember, our IWAs are growing, and as they grow, it involves dealing with their hormonal changes, their needs tend to change as well, and they are expected more to act accordingly to the norms of the society. What we think is good for them when they were young may not be appropriate anymore now that they are growing to become adults. We must not live in the past; we must grow with our children and prepare for the future.

This is where SMARTER Brunei comes in, to Support, Assist, Facilitate, and Enhance the skills of our IWA’s and most especially their families. Our programs have always been tailored depending on the needs of our IWA’s in their seamless journey. We have already built a foundation to create and develop a program suitable for our young IWA’s in their Early Intervention and Continuous Education Level. Now, we have to look in their adolescent stage, we need to provide them the EDGE they need in this stage. This EDGE will help to Educate, Develop, Grow, and Empower the skills of our Individuals with Autism. This is the reason behind the setting up of Brunei Autism Centre for Adults (BACA). It is a centre built to train the IWA’s in their adolescent stage to become independent in their everyday lives, to train for future employment, and develop their interests and skills that are age appropriate. Most of all, for our IWA’s to be with their friends in the same age group.

SMARTER Brunei is a family support group; therefore, WE as ONE BIG FAMILY will always be together, hand in hand, in facing all the endeavours that will come our way.

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