STUDENTS DAB PAINT onto a large coloring wall yesterday as part of a campaign launched by the ALUT organization to raise awareness and funds..
(photo credit: Courtesy)
ALUT, the Israeli Society for Autistic Children is holding its annual donation day on Wednesday.
Thousands of children are planning to knock on doors throughout the country, asking for contributions to ALUT.
In addition, the non-profit organization launched a campaign, “All the colors meet for the children of ALUT,” to raise awareness of and increase the public’s sensitivity towards people with autism.
As part of the campaign, ALUT erected large coloring walls in shopping malls in Petah Tikva, Beersheba and Haifa featuring black and white drawings made by people with autism.
The general public was then invited to “fill in the color” in order to create a final colorful drawing – a collaboration by people with autism and the general public.
“The language of color speaks for itself,” ALUT spokeswoman Ruti Sivan told The Jerusalem Post ahead of the donation day.
“For autistic children it is very difficult to form friendships – because of the difficulty in language, understanding of mimicry, and the understanding social gestures,” she said.
“On the other hand, we see that a lot of autistic people are incredible artists.
We decided to take this strength – their ability to express themselves through drawing and colors – and share it with the public,” she said.
It is this strength that the organization decided to highlight in connection with its donation day this year, so that the public would be able to “get to know autistic people from another angle,” explained Sivan.
Each year ALUT holds its donation day in order to raise funds for its activities, including building new centers, new schools, to take autistic children on field trips and to pay for the numerous additional initiatives.
“In every initiative – old and new – ALUT must add funds,” explained Sivan. “Whether it is for the establishment of a new building or for supplies for schools, government funding is never enough.”
On Tuesday the Welfare and Social Services Ministry announced that as part of its 2016 budget it would allocate an additional NIS 100 million to assist people with autism, from NIS 180 million to NIS 280 million.
In addition, the ministry said it will increase the number of social workers assisting people with autism from only seven today to 107.
According to ALUT, one out of every 100 babies in Israel is diagnosed with autism each year and statistics show that the numbers will continue to grow.