Lifestyle

Autism in Lebanon

A message of hope
By Hanane Tabet
February 08, 2019

“It’s not every day that we meet real life superheroes, but when we do we must hold them dearly”. This is what entrepreneur and philanthropist Bachir Sarkis has to say when you ask him about his new project, a school for autistic children in Lebanon.

A successful businessman and entrepreneur, owner of “Voyageur Jewelry” and member of the “Sarkis” family business group, Bachir Sarkis has just accomplished his passion project, a dream he never gave up on. To help out a cause close to his heart, he has worked hard to finally inaugurate the “1, 2, 3 Autism School” in Dbayeh, the first of its kind in Lebanon.

The school was funded with a donation from Sarkis Sarkis, and will run under the management of “NECC – USA”, an autism education and research institute with 40 years of experience helping children with autism.

Father of two, Bachir has grown up in a large family where support and understanding were very important. Aside from having a successful career in jewelry, tobacco, fashion and hospitality, he has always followed his passion and his instinct, never fearing to think big, to push the boundaries in order to make changes around him.

That’s why when he saw a gap in the educational system he decided to take matters into his own hands.

It’s tough for autistic children to function in a regular school where they will not receive the attention they need and where it’s very hard for them to connect with their peers. For kids who would have grown up shut off from society, this is a chance at a normal life. At a specialized private school that supports the needs of a child on the autistic spectrum, they will receive therapeutic intervention and specialized attention that will allow them to thrive. This school will welcome kids and will help out parents as well. For parents who had given up, this is a new chance.

With his audacity and his resiliency, Bachir Sarkis is now on a new mission to raise awareness for this cause that affects so many lives, and yet nothing can be done about it. Medicine has not found a solution for autism yet, but we have patience and love.

Providing guidance, understanding and a safe place is the ultimate goal for “1, 2, 3” which will open its doors in 2019.

“Growing up with confidence will allow these special kids to reach their greatest potential and take their rightful place in society, which is every parent’s dream for their child” Bachir says with a sparkle in his eyes. “When I see a child smile, it gives me hope. And with hope you can do anything”.

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