The year 2020 has been a remarkable year. We all have new challenges in this year that we never knew we could overcome. We were forced to do things differently and adapt quickly to these new challenges. Between all of this it was important to always counting our blessings. With Fundashon Alton Paas as well there are always blessing that we are thankful for. Specially since most of what we do becomes a reality with the help and support of many.
So, as we are finishing this year, you could say it is a right opportunity to count our blessings of this year to enter 2021 grateful and hopeful for new opportunities. We have written down the top 5 of our biggest achievements that we consider our blessings that were only possible with the support of the many donors, volunteers, supporters, and stakeholders.
So here are our 5 top blessings of 2020
- Successful end of ABT Project for 12 people
From October 2019 we started an activity-based project with 12 people. This is an annual project that we do with the financial support of donors and supporters.
We were able to give 12 people suffering from a paralysis the opportunity to get a 6-month program of intensive activity-based training. They were going to the AP Center twice a week to get training with a certified trainer for two hours. This project was finished March this year and we have organized a red-carpet event to let every participant show how they have progressed during the last 6 months. It was a special event hearing all the different achievements. Some that now can walk with less assistance, transfer with less assistance, has improved speaking, even a participant that could not get up after falling because she was paralyzed on one part of her body is now able to stand back up and you could see how much that meant to her.
- Initial Step of Caribbean SCI Network
Since 2018 we started an initiative with the rehabilitation center of Curacao to establish a network of the Caribbean for spinal cord injury. This network will serve to exchange ideas, knowledge, and information to improve the quality of live for people with spinal cord injury. The goal was to use this year to organize the next Caribbean SCI Congress and launch the network there. With all the travel bans and risk of hosting a congress this year we had to postpone the congress, but we kept working on the idea of the network. Now we could say our initial official document regarding the network has been sent to all the early participants of the network and we have started a private Facebook as well to take one step more to make the network a reality.
- National broadcast ‘Selebra Abilidat’
This year on the 3rd of December for the first time we have managed to get national attention to people with disabilities on Curacao. The greatest part is that when we is mentioned in this project, it means we as the 12 organizations that is working for the betterment of people with disability on Curacao. This project for us was a complete success. A 6-hour broadcast on the 3 tv stations on the island as well as different Facebook pages. During the 6 hours you were able to celebrate the abilities of people with a disability. See how the live, understand their experiences and even hear some of the challenges and possible solutions to keep creating more possibilities for people with a disability on Curacao. This project as well has started a movement to get all the different organizations together as well.
- Government recognition of the AP Center
One of the challenges we as Fundashon Alton Paas sees daily is how finances prevents people from getting the proper help for their health and wellbeing. In our efforts to facilitate special training and exercise through the AP Center we constantly seek for opportunities to help more people as possible. Specially now after 4 years you can see countless of testimonials on how beneficial the AP Center and its exercise programs are for people suffering from a paralysis. That is why one of the journeys we embark upon was to get a license for paramedical care from the Ministry of Health. This December it became official that we are now licensed as a health organization through the exercise program that we offer at the AP Center. This is one of the biggest achievements that will have its bigger impact on the long term so that we may help more people and get more ways to support the cost of these types of programs.
- Introduced New exercise program at the AP Center
This year the AP Center has restructured her exercise programs and officially started the guided exercises, In Papiamentu we call it ‘Ehersisio bou di Guia (EbG)’. This program makes it possible to serve someone suffering from a paralysis better with the type of exercises that help him the most. You will get a certified trainer make an evaluation with you and your goals to create a program specifically for you to exercise so that you can achieve your goals. We also manage to kickoff this program with a group of 12 people and it has also been greatly beneficial to their overall health. With this project we have participants that has improved balance, strength and are walking better.
We are even seeing now more people that are shifting from the regular gym membership to the guided exercises because of the support they get during their training.
These were the top 5 achievements that we call our blessings of 2020. We must admit, each one of these blessings were only possible because of the support we get from our donors, volunteers, and stakeholders.
We are grateful for everyone who has been part of our journey this year and we are excited for a new year full of new possibilities.
We wish you all an amazing new year and let’s stay safe and keep counting our blessings. Happy new year!