Stichting Ark | Netherlands
The “Stichting Ark” organisation is a Children’s day centre in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. They provide individualised one-on-one care for children with autism, complex special needs and multiple disabilities.
Children at the Ark are exempt from the school system and require constant one-on-one supervision. The organisation’s intensive interaction methods reflect recent research on good practice for helping difficult to reach children. The Ark is currently the only day-care centre or school in the Netherlands offering this type of very specialist care.
The Ark’s facilities can currently offer support for 12 children, though requests for places far exceed this. While the current Ark space of 250m2 caters to the existing children, a secondary 400m2 space became available in 2018 within the same building complex which includes a work space and garden areas. This space has been offered rent free for seven years by the landlord to Ark but required extensive refurbishment and renovation. This included:
- Structural work, including heating and toilets
- Interior walls
- Decorating and landscaping to provide suitable outside spaces for the children
Obtaining this additional space will allow the Ark to greatly increase the number of children it can help and provide much needed help to the wider number of people who apply to the Ark every year for assistance.
The Ark were able to raise €25,000 of the funding required for these works using private fundraising efforts. It was Smurfit Kappa Foundation’s great pleasure to be able to provide a further €50,000, to be used to immediately start work on their exciting project.
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