New therapeutic pool for autistic children
2011- On a lovely spring day, Help-for-Hope was invited to a very special event: the inauguration of the therapeutic swimming pool at Cube de Verre Foundation's new center for autistic children in Arzier.
The occasion was marked by planting a tree together, a strong symbolic act to celebrate the new facility for autistic children in Suisse Romande, and a lasting mark of the successful collaboration between Cube de Verre and Help-for-Hope.
The people who have made the project possible
Nothing could have happened without the persistent vision of Anna Wälti-Berti, Joseph Stutz and Daniel Wälti, co-founders of the Cube de Verre Foundation and initiators of this great project in Arzier for autistic children (please click here for more information about the foundation). Their professionalism, energy and warm smiles have gathered the momentum necessary to make this project a reality. In particular, Anna’s own life story with her daughter Jade was the relentless inspiration for this outstanding adventure.
The Cube de Verre Foundation will welcome autistic children, offering them modern facilities and educational programs that are tailored to their individual needs. It will also offer parents of autistic children the opportunity to resource themselves! The whole complex of the Cube de Verre will be inaugurated on September 8, 2011.
A very friendly, good spirited and joyful group of local Italian families have helped to sponsor the swimming pool by organizing two tombolas in 2009 and 2010. Very special thanks to Simona, Enrica, Alessandra and their children for representing the many Italian families that took part in this project! The active involvement of this generous Italian community has been instrumental in raising awareness for the project in Arzier, and helping it get to completion. Fantastico, grazie mille!!
Representing hundreds of generous donors, Help-for-Hope has been delighted to participate in the project, donating CHF 80’000.- to finance the construction of the new indoor swimming pool. A great thank you to all athletes participating in the 2009 fundraising based on two main sports events : The Grand Raid (Switzerland) and The Diagonale des Fous (Reunion Islands).
The therapeutic swimming pool
Water is of particular interest in the treatment of autism: the therapeutic work is based on the concept of regaining the initial feeling of safety, of a reassuring envelope that refers to the mother's womb. Through the exploration of water, the child will learn how to discover his own body limits in space. On a physical approach, water also reduces the body weight by 90% and thereby decreases stress and impact on the body. Warm water also reduces spasticity and relaxes muscles. It is the ideal environment for autistic children to exercise in, to gain some confidence and have fun!
Professionals of autism, who are all qualified swimmers as well, will be in charge of providing adequate treatments to the 20+ children that will be integrating the Cube de Verre Center at the end of summer 2011.
Congratulations to Cube de Verre Foundation for the top quality building construction. Amongst others, solar panels are providing the necessary energy to heat water up to a confortable 30°!
The Cube de Verre reflecting in the water...
The Tree - a symbol
Planting a tree has been a highly symbolic act: may it represent a source of energy, growth and life for autistic children in Arzier, and for the people involved in the project!
Here are some pictures from planting the tree together, with some of the Italian children and adolescents involved in the tombola and Help-for-Hope members…, a magic moment!
Congratulations to all those involved in this beautiful and innovative project – especially to the Cube de Verre Foundation and the Italian community! Bravo!!
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