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Autism Cook Islands kicks off year with $4000 donation

Friday 23 February 2024 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Health, Local, National


Autism Cook Islands kicks off year with $4000 donation
Autism Cook Islands president Gloria Rarere-Tinirau (left) and vice president Tony Fe’ao (right) were pleased to receive $4000 from the Rarotonga Growers Association and Matavera growers Tua (middle) and Kiriau Turepu. 24022201

Autism Cook Islands has gotten off to a great start for this year thanks to a generous $4000 donation from the Rarotonga Growers Association’s special dinner event.

The funds were raised through dinner ticket sales, and a generous donation from Kiriau and Tua Turepu and family, owners of the One Stop Vege Shop in Matavera, located near the Autism Cook Islands Hub centre.

Autism’s programme manager Kat Jensen said: “We are blessed and blown away by this wonderful gesture from the Rarotonga Growers, especially Mama Tua and Papa Kiriau for their kindness and support.”

The Autism Cook Islands executives, eager to celebrate the end of the year after their previous plans fell through, booked tables and joined the Growers’ dinner with their staff and key volunteers.

The donation will assist the organisation with their various programmes.

Autism Cook Islands has already kicked off its Term I Lego Masters/VEX Robotics (educational robotics programme) with both Lego groups, primary/preschool and transition, using the brand new VEX kits every Saturday at their Hub.

The transition group for students aged 14 and over will use the new VEX GO and VEX IQ Robotics kits, which just arrived, for more challenging builds. This session will be held from 9am to 10am.

The primary/preschool group for students aged three to 14 years will have their session from 10.15am to 11.15am and will use the Vex Go Robotics kits and Build Me Emotions Lego (for preschoolers).

Facilitators and volunteers for these Lego and Robotics programmes are Penny and Craig Murray, Sahara Lang, Mellissa Brown, Aporo Vano and Joelle Tinirau.

“If you are unsure if VEX Robotics is for your child, you are welcome to pop into a session to see what it is all about.”

The swimming programme for this term will start next week Monday, February 26, at 3.30pm at Aroa Beach (next door to The Rarotongan). It will be facilitated by Kieran and Leslie Chan, from the Cook Islands Aquatics Federation, assisted by volunteers Pete Jones and Grete Fevang.

“Please note that there will be two swimming sessions a week, on Monday and Thursdays for three weeks. Parents and guardians who would like their child or young adult to attend these programmes, please confirm via email to the Autism team.

“To honour the commitment made by Autism Cook Islands staff and volunteers they will appreciate your commitment to the full programme and timely arrival.”

Meanwhile Autism Cook Islands will also be presenting the new “Nui Bubs” group with a donation from their Art Auction that was held last year.

“We wanted to give a portion back to the community that supports us so well and the students/artists got to vote as to where they wanted their donation to go,” Jensen said.

“We want to help organisations that are just starting out – like we were five years ago.”