April is Global Autism Awareness Month. This year, the Maia Chung Autism and Disabilities Foundation (MCADF) will be enacting its second fundraising effort in New York City, in partnership with Zingflash Films – an American-based film company which specialises in making short films, music videos, and full-length films, with their inaugural staging of Dining to Donate for Autism in Jamaica and the Caribbean.
The foundation is marking its seventh year of existence on April 26, 2015, and as an NGO, it is still struggling to help individuals who are affected by autism and other disabilities. Autism is a mental condition present from early childhood, characterised by great difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts. It affects people of all racial, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds, although boys are generally affected at four times the rate of girls and it is rising in prevalence among the world’s populations in the USA, as well as the Caribbean region
The event is being sponsored by Zingflash Films, a company owned by Jamaicans who reside in the USA. The fundraiser is slated for April 26, 2015 in New York City. The Zingflash Films members heard of MCADF and its noteworthy support and have dedicated their interest to form a lifelong alliance between the two entities – to enable the MCADF to extend its help to individuals who are affected by autism in Jamaica and in the Caribbean. According to Maia Chung, “the fundraiser we have planned is in its effort of MCADF continuing our work to help Jamaicans, individuals in the Caribbean and around the world who are being affected by autism”.
The movement was sparked by one of the Zingflash Films members whose two children are autistic, and this will be the first of an annual partnership between the two entities. So far, corporate sponsors Apple Bees and Clothiers Parish Nation have come on board as sponsors, and New York State senator, Kevin Parker, is also supporting this event.
MCADF and Zingflash Films have also established a Go Fund Me link to sustain the MCADF’s activities of raising funds for the pivotal issue of autism on a long-term basis. Chung noted, “It’s almost impossible for donors to support our ongoing projects. Several of the foundation’s donors have been victims of the unstable economy in Jamaica and cannot assist us as much as they once did or would want to”.
The four-member team of Zingflash Films will be in Jamaica April 11-18, 2015, for interviews to publicise their inaugural staging of the highly anticipated event.
The Zingflash Films has produced a short film on autism and its effects on families, which will be screened at the Dining to Donate event.