Claire Shrader is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Pre-Occupational Therapy major at Mississippi College, she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.
In this week's post, Claire starts her internship at the Brincar Foundation and tells us more about the work they do for children with autism in Buenos Aires.
Today has been an exciting week, because not only did my classes begin, but so did my internship! I have the incredible opportunity to intern at Fundación Brincar por un Autismo Feliz (or, in English, Brincar Foundation for a happy life with Autism) here in Buenos Aires.
Headed out on the first day of my internship.
It’s simply a dream come true. Children with Autism end up left out of educational, social, and work opportunities often here, and Brincar provides for them what so often the government cannot. Brincar actually means "to jump," and it has that name because jumping is one way these kids express joy. Brincar was founded by two mothers who have kids with autism who wanted to create something better for their kids. The foundation focuses on providing kids and young adults with opportunities to engage with the community through art workshops, swimming classes, music workshops, etc... They also provide them with opportunities for job training through a cooking workshop and a t-shirt design workshop.
Additionally, they give support to families through support groups for mothers, grandmothers, fathers, and siblings. They aren’t only focused on supporting families, though. The second greatest focus of Brincar is on bringing awareness to the city of what exactly autism is, because change can only happen when people are aware.
The first day I got to the internship, I was pretty impressed by how kind everyone was to me. Even the president of the foundation knew my name, and they all greeted me with the standard kiss and a warm hug and expressed how happy they were to have me. I was pretty much blubbering over how excited I was to be there, haha.
I’ve only been there for three days so far, but already have gotten to do such meaningful work. They just launched a new website, so I spent my first day and a half extensively editing it for typos and anything that needed to be fixed. Once I finished that, I started working on translating parts of the site from Spanish to English to start sending that information to people in the States. I’ve done data entry, too, which I guess is more standard intern work, but even that is so empowering to me just knowing that I get to take a small role in this incredible organization that is bringing hope and community to these amazing families in this beautiful city. It really is everything I could have dreamed of and more!
Later in this semester I’ll help with sibling workshops, a yoga class for kids with autism, as well as my normal communications intern duties. What makes this opportunity so perfect for me is that I have been wondering how plausible it would be to one day start something like this, something that fills in that gap for adults with disabilities which so desperately needs to be filled. Brincar is not just doing that, but they are doing that in my favorite place, so I know I’ll take a lot away from this, namely, an idea of whether or not I would want to work here again.
The Foundation has a lot of exciting events coming up this semester that I’ll get to be a part of, so keep following along for more info on Brincar! And I would be a terrible intern if I didn’t also tell you that you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and of course at our rocking new website: brincar.org.ar.
Claire's journey continues every Monday so stay tuned.