By Samantha Benoit, a member of the SkillCorps® Netherlands July 2018 team

I came into this mission not really knowing what to expect. The Netherlands seemed like they had a lot going for themselves so I was a bit confused as to why a center needed help from the Global Autism Project. Upon arrival the team got to meet this incredible human by the name of Catherine. She was very personable and eager to meet us. She immediately made it clear that The Netherlands needed much development in their School system as there is a large deficit in teaching those with Autism. She expressed he struggles moving from New York with her son who is on the spectrum, and how he is not in school. She opened the center to help children like her son who have parents seeking help, guidance, and hope for their own. 

Over the course of the week, my interactions have been like no other. Being at REACH I was able to sit and talk with parents who came for different parts of the world, who all wanted the same thing as Catherine, hope for their children. One father shared his story of him traveling to multiple countries seeking the right services after his son who was kicked out of school because he “learned too differently”. His family packed up in search of a place that would best support them and his sons needs. He felt as though REACH was what his family was looking for , and settled in The Hague. It was a pleasure to help REACH with their clinical and organizational objectives that will get them closer to their ultimate goal of ensuring every child has the opportunity to attend school and reach their full potential!