Mickey’s Foundation Aruba

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ORANJESTAD — On Aruba specialized therapy as in pediatric physiotherapy, pediatric occupational and pre verbal speech therapy for children is non-existent. And this was exactly what Micky needed. But not only Micky suffered from the consequences of cerebral palsy, many other children on Aruba have severe motoric and/or mental problems. 

Micky’s Foundation was founded in December 2014. It is an initiative of the parents of Micky. They live in Aruba where Micky was born in 2009. Only five months old the mother and Micky were almost killed when a drunk driver crashed into their car. Micky survived the accident but, because of severe brain injury will remain with only 40% of his brain capacity for the rest of his life. The mother fortunately was barely harmed.

Micky’s Foundation aims to reach out to parents with children in need of special care and education. It is an initiative by and for parents of Aruba. Our objective as parents is to organize specialized and intensive therapy in the homes of the children, for free. Furthermore raising awareness and creating an online community. Together we stand stronger. Micky’s Foundation is a member of Plataforma pa Persona cu Limitacion (PPL) on Aruba.

The foundation, until now has provided specialized therapy to 72 children. We have around 60 children within our network. And we also work with a waiting list. Micky’s Foundation organizes projects of three months each, to maximize progress with the children. The goal is to provide 20-25 children on Aruba with specialized intensive therapy in the homes of the families, for three months in a row. These projects will be organized three times a year, so continuity of therapy is guaranteed.

In December 2014 Micky’s Foundation has started their first project with a pediatric physiotherapist and a pre verbal speech therapist. They worked for three months, between 2-5 hours a week with 13 children. They also worked together with the local therapists who are treating the children on Aruba throughout the year. In August 2015 our 2nd project started with 15 children. which brought the total of treated children in 2015 to 22! In 2016-2017-2018 we have organized our 3rd, 4th, 5th (with for the first time a pediatric ergo therapist), 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th project with 24 children. We are now starting our 10th project and are busy preparing for project 11.

The therapy is always given with the assistance of at least one parent, so they can learn to give (easy) therapy exercises to their child. In this way we strive to continue helping our child’s physical and mental development through a combination of (imported) therapy and stimulation techniques, improving the quality of life so that they in the end are healthy, active, and can participate in everyday life to the best of their ability. The therapists focus on working together with local therapists and professionals. Transmitting their knowledge is essential for the continuity.

The board of Micky’s Foundation consists of a chairman (Gijs de Rooij), a secretary (Audrey Knijn) and a treasurer (Harriette de Kool). The board has regular meetings to safeguard the quality of the activities. In short Micky’s Foundation on Aruba is about: Free therapy, specialized therapy, intensive therapy, continuity of therapy, transmitting knowledge and home therapy.

Adopting the “Yes we can” mentality and focusing on what they can do vs. what their limitations are. The projects are 100% sponsored by the community (service clubs, companies and subsidiaries). Together with the parents we form a support group to help each other in periods of our lives which are characterized by despair, distress lack of information and solitude.

For more information visit their Facebook page Micky’s Foundation Aruba. q