OWS Holds Opening Ceremony of Ahmad Riad Jawhari Center for Autism

Orphan Welfare Society- Saida held the opening ceremony for Ahmad Riad Jawhari (Abou Farouk) Center for Autism. The center is named after OWS founder and first president. This center has become a reality thanks to the generous donation of the Mohamed Zeidan for Development in Saida Association.

The center is considered a model center in Saida and the South as it has been built according to global autism center standards and is designed to accommodate around 70 children supervised by a specialized team.

In his speech, Dr. Makkaoui, thanked the donor Mr. Zeidan for his support and belief in OWS’s mission to help orphans, children with special needs and marginalized youth. He added that the collaboration with Mohammad Zeidan Association started two years ago when the Mohammad Zeidan Center for Vocational Training was established. “Today we are opening the Ahmad Riad Jawhari (Abou Farouk) Center for Autism in honor of his benevolent actions that date back 66 years in Saida. This organization was established due to the challenging efforts of the founders who started their mission by collecting dimes and cents to build it. We believe that this center will be a source of hope for children with autism and their families. We have worked hard to put together an exceptional team who can and will develop the skills of these children.” Dr. Makkaoui added: “It was not easy for OWS to launch a new center while our country is undergoing difficult social and economic circumstances, but the support and the trust of generous donors and philanthropists in Saida and Lebanon, such as Mr. Zeidan, has kept us motivated. We hope God will keep looking after us for the sake of our children and our community.”

In his turn, Mr. Mohammad Ali Jawhari, represented by his son Ibrahim Jawhari, addressed the audience and thanked Dr. Makkaoui and Mr. Zeidan for their joint efforts to serve the community, and said, “Today is a tribute and honor for Abou Farouk”.

Attendees of the ceremony included political, religious and social figures in Saida.

The building can accommodate around 70 students in its spacious classrooms which are equipped with approved furniture for children with cases of autism. The walls are painted in pertinent relaxing colors. In addition to the regular classrooms, there are rooms for individual therapy sessions (speech, psycho-motor, and psychological) and food preparation. The building also incorporates a specialized library and educational tools to help the team in their daily responsibilities. In addition to regularly attending workshops on related topics, the team also attends weekly in-house trainings with specialists in order to remain up-to-date. The building which is surrounded with a garden and pine trees, is full of outdoor toys and playthings ideal for the children’s activities during recess.

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