- Life Style
Launched in Maadi last September, Effective Learning Foundation (ELF) is evaluating and providing therapy to children with learning disabilities and special needs and arming parents with the tools to work with them at home.
Nihal Saddik, one of the five female founders and head of ELF’s marketing and finance department, said the team shares a common vision of improving the services available for special needs children in Egypt, regardless of profit.
“Though we are different ages with different backgrounds, our unified aim draws us together,” she said. The organization offers multi-sensory and multi-disciplinary programs focusing on occupational, educational, speech and language, and cognitive behavioral therapies as well as neurodevelopmental evaluations.
“We are working on cases ranging from severe sensory disorder to mild learning disabilities,” said Nahla Kandil, another founder and manager of ELF. “While severe cases require a lot of help every step of the way, learning disability cases receive merely educational assistance and instructions.”
The organization designs one-on-one sessions for the children with doctors, therapists, and psychologists who are experts in their fields. “We meant to offer individualized programs for giving each child full attention with a quite effective result.” Kandil said.
The organization’s psychologists and instructors receive specialized training and certification through the English Center accredited by the British Psychological Society to develop their skills.
ELF is not exclusive to the upper class, and offers special packages for those who cannot afford the expenses of their child's treatment. Saddik said the foundation is approaching other non-governmental institutions to help it reach more children in need of services or provide volunteer psychologists to reduce expenses.
The foundation is also starting a parent training workshop at the end of the month to assist parents in dealing with their disabled children in an appropriate manner.
According to Dalia Chourbagi, founder and head of education department, if parents are aware of efficient teaching methods, the home environment can be a very powerful tool for rapid recovery.
“Parents and instructors should work hand-in-hand because the child spends only 35 minutes here, while the whole day is at home,” Chourbagi said.
ELF has recently opened its new unit at Hewaya Center, Tara Compound in Sheikh Zayed, which provides educational therapy. Mena Mahrous, another founder and head of cognitive and behavioral department, explained that while the organization is growing, they want to take the time to expand with well-planned steps.
“We are profit organization, but are not driven by profit making," Kandil said. "Our job is humanitarian so if you are commercial or don’t have the proper ethical and compassionate framework, the outcome will reflect the services provided."
Address: Building 4, 214/216, Maadi, Cairo
Tel.: 25199908/ 01110203044
Address: Hewaya Center, Tara Compound El Sheikh Zayed, Entrance one.