Aina Barca, a Spanish citizen started a school in Hetauda, Nepal for children with intellectual disabilities and cerebral palsy. Named “Asha Special School and Rehabilitation Center” this school for special children is founded with the belief that all children are capable of learning if they receive an education based on their special needs.
Aina came to Nepal as a traveler and got exposed to difficulties of disabled children in Hetauda, a city in Nepal. She then decided to build a school uniquely designed for these children in Nepal. At an early age of 21, she started collecting money to make her dream a reality and eventually registered an NGO in Spain called “Familia de Hetauda” to raise funds that she needed. She then registered another NGO in Nepal called “Hetaudeli Pariwar” which now runs Asha Special School and Rehabilitation Center (ASSRC) locally. ASSRC, established in 2013, is now a pioneer school for children with intellectual disabilities and cerebral palsy in Hetauda.
With a mission to provide quality education, treatment, and life skill training to the children with special needs, ASSRC has been a safe place for children to learn, play and grow in an environment where their needs are understood. On a normal school day, there are classes for Maths, Nepali, English, Social studies, and Natural Sciences like any other school. On top of that, life skills training is done on a daily basis consisting of daily life activities. These contribute to the motor and cognitive development as well as developing the children’s interaction with their immediate environment. There are art and music classes for expressive therapy along with physiotherapy and yoga to improve motor skills and encourage movement in cases of physical disabilities.
Besides school, there is also a building separated for a specialized rehabilitation center called “Asha Rehabilitation Center”. The center provides physiotherapy, therapeutic massage, and multi-sensory stimulation to disabled children to facilitate the development, maintenance, and recovery of maximum functionality and mobility. Speech therapy is also practiced to treat language and speaking disorders of the many children in the center. For youths of 18 years and above, the “Asha Vocational Training Center” provides occupational workshops like sewing, making jewelry and various handcrafted items.
To take students in from different districts and long distances, the team at Asha school established a hostel in January 2017. With that, disabled children from mostly remote areas are able to attend school and stay in the hostel. The hostel provides food and lodging to the children in a safe, friendly environment.
Asha Special School has been running through financial support from various individuals and organizations like Lions Club and Non-residential Nepali Association. They also take in volunteers to help with the various programs run by the school. With continuous support, Asha Special School hopes to take care of their children and provide a home for children to grow.