I am saying goodbye to my 20s this year and will be fundraising for the Smile Project by Autism Support Famagusta. Smile is the first and only day care centre for adults with autism in Famagusta, Cyprus – and it hosts my brother.
To donate please follow this link and use the hashtag #30smiles
In 2015 Autism Support Famagusta I wrote: “Their dream is to build a home within the community to provide care and a quality of life for people with Autism. The long-term goal is a specialised centre which will offer kids with Autism tailored education and pastime. This is going to start with them providing housing with 24-hour care for children, and adults with Autism.”
And now here we are. The Smile centre is open and hosts 3 adults with interest from even more families.
In The time someone asked me for permission I explained that “I write the blog, post the videos and use personal information about my family, Christos and myself for Autism awareness… I feel that the problem of how Autism is perceived – being naughty or weird children – needs to be addressed within mine and my family’s lifetime so that i can ensure that my brother gets to live his life as happy as possible in case I am not here to make it happen.”
For Christmas I explained to you how: “Christos doesn’t write Santa lists, he doesn’t get a new phone, or the latest game; he doesn’t want it. All he wants is the meal. The one where all of our insanely loud family sits around a table and eats until there is nowhere else to put food except Tupperware to take home for the next couple of days. The one where my grandpa will say ‘Christo Cheers’ to him a million times and Christos will clink his glass a million and one times, because its Christmas and he knows that’s what we do on Christmas.”
Today? Smile is making autism visible. Christos keeps teaching everyone around him about autism and pushing us to see the world from all kinds of perspectives – not just a few. I have witnessed my baby bro go from a kid who moved from town to town, school to school and home to home to an adult who puts others first, helps when he can, is compassionate, brave and funny. And that! is better than any resolution. And the best part is he’s my role-model; By loving him I never forget who I am supposed to be.