Shuchona Foundation, established in 2014, is a not-for-profit advocacy, research, and capacity-building organization, specializing in neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) and mental health. Shuchona aims to directly impact the lives of individuals and families affected by NDDs through mass-scale field deployment of proven best practices, thereby enhancing social inclusion. Shuchona is the culmination of Saima Wazed Hossain’s efforts to coordinate and mainstream policies and programs for mental health and NDDs, starting with her launch of the Global Autism Public Health Initiative in 2011 (in partnership with Autism Speaks and WHO) and Global Autism Bangladesh in 2012. As a result of Saima Hossain’s relentless advocacy work, the passage of the “Neurodevelopmental Disability Protection Trust Act 2013” and the adoption of WHO Resolutions No. SEA/RC65/R8 & WHA 67.8 was ensured; this has been instrumental in generating the need for developing appropriate services and support for persons with mental health and NDDs into the national policy framework of Bangladesh and in the UN development agenda.
Shuchona’s primary goal is to work to provide a new beginning for persons with mental health and neurodevelopmental disorders so that they no longer feel excluded from a society’s economic, political and cultural progress, as a consequence of their disorders or due to discrimination from their peers in society. The Foundation’s aim is to develop innovative, high-impact and low-cost sustainable programs which can be implemented within the existing national infrastructure through effective public and private partnerships. Shuchona envisions a community that provides the kind of universal support system and environment where a person with any disability can live a productive and meaningful life as included – not just integrated – members of the society.
Ability Bhutan Society (ABS) is a Public Benefit Organization founded on the recognition that persons living with moderate to severe diverse abilities, primarily children and their families have special needs. The concept of ABS was inspired by the Vision of His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of a compassionate and just society. ABS is under the patronage of Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck.
ABS works towards creating an inclusive society where individuals with special needs are given equal opportunity and equal access to their rights. The core initiative of ABS is to provide training, support and socializing opportunities for children with special needs. It provides individualized interventions that support individuals in carrying out activities of daily living to help them reach their fullest potential. Additionally, it provides training programs for social workers, educators, professionals and community workers; and recruits volunteers and other skilled professionals to support the training programs.
ABS advocates for inclusive opportunities in least restrictive environments for children with special needs and functions as a support group for parents and families of these children. ABS plans to collaborate with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and various relevant agencies through various programs to promote community awareness of the educational needs of disabled children and to provide technical assistance to schools in assisting them with expanding inclusive opportunities for disabled children. ABS also collaborates and coordinates with relevant stakeholders and agencies both within and outside the country.