APA Foundation

Being handicapped and poor usually means a double disadvantage in developing countries. Often, a physical and/or mental handicap is an obstacle in itself to taking part in 'normal' daily life. But, in many cases, also being short of money leads to even greater isolation because the lack of funds for special medical and other assistance or therapy.

During many extended visits to Asia, the founders were confronted by the needs and requirements of people with a handicap. One of the founders is an occupationaltherapist. This was the source of the idea to use experience built up in rehabilitation to offer assistance and so the APA (Aid Projects Asia) Foundation (Stichting APA) was founded to support people with a handicap locally (individually or as part of a project) and to offer suitable assistance.

The main aim of the APA Foundation is to promote the welfare of handicapped people and those close to them. To this end, the first step is to identify the needs of the target group and to use this information to set priorities for the activities and projects to be carried out. The APA Foundation uses a culturally sensitive approach. In other words, it is not western standards but those of the applicant which are central.

The initial aim is to allow handicapped people to look after themselves as well as possible or, if independence and autonomy have a different value or lower priority within a culture, to assist the family or others immediately involved to provide the best possible care.

The second objective is to offer support in the search for a meaningful use of time and to create opportunities so that applicants can participate in day-to-day life in a way which is satisfactory to them, such as working in the garden or the fields or being able to visit the market. Other examples are attending school, following a training course or taking a job. In these cases, existing training and work situations are used wherever possible.

The various activities will be financed from the founders own savings and through donations. Donations are spent entirely on providing assistance. Administrative matters and indirect expenses are paid for by the founders themselves.

The APA Foundation will operate in developing countries in Asia, starting in Bali, Indonesia. The Foundation is currently in an exploratory and orientation phase and so, at the moment, its aims and target group are broad. The Foundation's area of activities will be defined more closely in the future.