Japanese schools have specific classes to suit students with special needs, but after school hours, these children return to their homes and, often, their parents are not able to give the necessary assistance because they are working.
To give such assistance to children with special needs, the NPO Koryunet created the “Esperança” that welcomes children after school hours, giving them the necessary support for development. Currently, Esperança suits children with special needs, such as Autism.
Interview with Mr. Funatsumaru Romeu (NPO Koryunet)
“Two years ago, we heard that there was a large number of children with special needs here in Sasagawa. Our director has proposed the idea of Esperança for these children. We analyzed and realized the existence of this need. Since there was no previous examples in Japan, we believe that Esperança should be done by Koryunet and we started it two years ago. ”
Q. What is the age group that Esperança meets and what is the right profile to be able to receive this assistance?
“Children from 0 to 18 years old can receive the daily service and assistance. To use the service, you must present a certificate of a disability or consult a child consultation center. ”
Q. What are the nationalities assisted? How to contact for information or registration?
“By the time, the children who attend our institution are from Japanese, Brazilian, Peruvian and Bolivian nationalities. Regardless of nationality, any child can attend the institution.
You can search for us by our phone number in child consultation centers or in the city halls and get in touch with us. ”
The head of Esperança spoke about the activities that are offered, the difficulties and also the progress that children presented after they begin attending the institution.
Q. How long is Esperança operating and what are the major difficulties in the activities?
“We’re in the second year of Esperança, we started here in July 2012 and it was really hard at first because it is a different activity, you deal with children with special needs, it is not easy. In each day you are dealing with them, you see that it is one more day of study, it is a new thing, it is difficult, because they are children who do not speak what they feel, they act in an unexpected way.
These are children who cannot express what they feel, and sometimes expresses themselves through some attitude that you also unknown, because each time is a different attitude, sometimes they want something, or they are feeling a pain and you don’t know, shall we say, that would be the hardest part for us.
When you deal with children with more serious difficulties, with higher degrees of autism, you cannot hold it. But it is very pleasure because you see along the time you get experience on that. ”
“We can say that 100% of them improved. Children who come with very strong autism, convulsed, scratched themselves, pulled their hair. What do you do? In the beginning was difficult. We only have one space and that space is for everyone. And they began to adapt. They managed to fit in well.
We also develop educational work with them. They are learning and we try to do everything to make a good work with them.
The development was extensive, in my view, very extensive. The attitude, the behavior, you can look up here and even see that, apparently, they are not children with so special needs, if you look with your eyes. ”
“It’s been very useful not only for me but also for other mothers. The girls give us advice and help. And for us, mothers of special children, it has been very good. They take very good care, including the issue of social inclusion. It will help a lot on my son’s daily routine. I am very grateful for the existence of Esperança here in Sasagawa. ”
Many parents or guardians with children with special needs do not have information about places that provide assistance or where they can ask questions. The NPO Koryunet’s Esperança aims, besides giving the assistance that children need, also provide support to their parents or guardians.
Jobs like this either help families by providing support as offer information about government systems and help in the inclusion of young people with special needs within Japanese society.