Calling out for donations [Gulf Weekly (Bahrain)]
(Gulf Weekly (Bahrain) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) BIG-HEARTED auntie Caroline Wilkie is aiming to collect hundreds of unwanted mobile phones in a bid to exchange them for a brand-new Apple iPad for her autistic two-year-old nephew, Darragh, writes May Al Mousawi.
Friends and acquaintances in Bahrain have rallied to the call and the expat housewife is optimistic she can gather the necessary 220 phones to make young Darragh's dream come true.
Darragh, who lives in County Wicklow, Ireland, was diagnosed with autism just three months ago and with the help of his auntie, and the Irish Autism Action (IAA) organisation, he will receive an Apple iPad with all the necessary autism applications, casing and insurance, which costs more than BD240.
The iPad has been hailed as a saviour for children with autism spectrum disorder and other special needs as it has been found to assist them with their learning.
Mother-of-two Caroline, 48, from Saar, said: "Darragh is my brother Mark's only son. He is so young and doctors don't know the extent of his autism yet. It's a wait-and-see process … but the sooner children are diagnosed, the more that can be done for them.
"My sister-in-law, Eadaoin, said they were looking to get an iPad because the IAA has a programme where you can collect old mobile phones that are less than 10 years old with their batteries, and they can be swapped for an iPad with everything Darragh will need to help with his development.
"I have collected more than 50 phones so far, but I need to reach a target of 220."
General Automotive Bahrain is lending a helping hand towards the project and has offered to transport the phones to Dublin for free.
Caroline has also received plenty of help from the community. In September the telecommunications company Zain, with the aid of the Friends of the British School of Bahrain (BSB), a parent volunteer group, placed mobile recycling boxes around the BSB. Parents, teachers and students were encouraged to place their old phones in the box, and in turn they would be entered into a raffle draw. Caroline, coincidentally, put out a request on the social networking site, Facebook, at the same time.
An old friend of Caroline and a member of the marketing team at BSB, Amanda Fergusson, saw her plea and quickly responded. Amanda said: "After seeing her post, I contacted Zain to ask if they would be willing to allow the 30 phones we had collected here at the BSB to be used to help Caroline's appeal and they kindly agreed!
"I hope the campaign is successful with the aid of the BSB, Zain and now GulfWeekly's readers."
Caroline said she has been thrilled with the response. "I think that's part of the community here in Bahrain, we are all always working together," she said.
l?Mobile phone donations can be dropped off into special collection boxes at Bahrain Rugby Club and Alosra supermarkets in Saar and Amwaj Islands.
(c) 2012 Al Hilal Publishing & Marketing Group Provided by Syndigate.info an Albawaba.com company
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