And suddenly the words were lost
Only forms and things prevailed
But I had forgotten what to call them.
A lightning had erased from my memory
The language inherited from past centuries
And the one I daily discovered.
I had to reinvent the world around me
Because that other universe existed only in the word.
And only then I knew that silence is a mere pause
That separates the being and the not being from the existence
Because to discover beauty was no longer important
Since I could not tell about it with words
And only then I knew that without words, feelings
Are deaf and it is useless to appeal to them
That without words they disappear
That the keenest intelligence is blocked.
Because the purest, noblest feeling
Aphasia is an acquired language disorder, caused by brain damage. It affects a person’s ability to speak and also their social, professional and emotional life.
From one moment to the next, abruptly, people with aphasia people begin to suffer significant difficulties to speak, understand the language, read and even write. They can no longer do what they used to do, the family suffers the crisis, friends stay away because they do not know how to treat them and they isolate themselves. The damage can also provoke hemiplegia, memory disorders, lack of attention, difficulties in handling money, etc.
People of all ages, social standings and gender can suffer aphasia. The most frequent causes are the cerebral vascular accident and the cranium traumatisms, but tumors, infections and degenerative diseases can also lead to aphasia.
We were born with the mission of assisting and giving support to the person with aphasia and their environment. We propose to promote the prevention and awareness of the community so that, with proper knowledge and solidarity it can help people with aphasia to attain a more effective performance and better conditions for reinsertion.
Our attempt is to train professionals, volunteers and care-givers so that they can help the person with aphasia improve their quality of life and preserve it over the years.
Our main objective is to attain the social inclusion and work insertion of the people with aphasia so that they can achieve greater autonomy and better quality of life.
We define our objectives as psycho social. This concept of "psycho social life" is seen as the emotional result (happiness, self-esteem, etc.), that is attained through the contact with fellow human beings. It is an accepted fact that the emotional state has a significant impact on the motivation, cognition and processing of the language.
It was Mr. Rudi Schwarz who created this Foundation to which he gave his wife’s name out of gratitude for the correct therapeutic treatment that allowed Charlotte to enjoy her last years despite her aphasia.
The project this institution carries out started in 1989. From the beginning we conceived care-giving in an integral way, taking into account the person as a whole, with their failings, emotional states, tastes and interests together with their environment.
We created the workshops with the aim of stimulating the healthy right cerebral hemisphere, augment the self-esteem and facilitate social inclusion.
The project is completed with campaigns of awareness (meetings, broadcasting in the mass media, videos), so that more and more people learn what aphasia is and understand the world of those who suffer it, and of prevention, so that they learn to prevent it by controlling the risk factors.
After twelve years and thanks to the financial help granted by the Ministry of Development and Environment through the Check Tax Law No. 24,452, the purchase of a house, its refurbishing and provision of the necessary equipment were completed for the creation of the first Day Center for Aphasics, declared of interest by the Government of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.
In 2004, in order to reach the goal of favoring work reinsertion, the "Left Hand" Leather and Sewing Workshop was created. At present, we have added bijouterie, decorative inlays, fabric printing and technical aids thanks to the collaboration of the National Ministry of Labor.
The staff includes neurologists, linguists, neurolinguists, neuropsychologists, speech therapists, neuropsychopedagogists, kinesiologists kinesitherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, social workers, neuromusicologists, professionals of several disciplines and volunteers.
In total accordance with our institutional purposes and the agreements signed with the official organisms that financed the purchase of the property for the launching of the Day Center, an anual scholarship quota is granted to people with aphasia who cannot afford the cost of treatment so that they can have access to our services and activities.
To find an answer to the complexity presented by people with aphasia, their environment and their community, we propose a multiplicity of actions, such as traditional and innovative care- giving methods which allow us to fulfill our mission and objectives.
In neurology, linguistics, neuropsychology, occupational therapy.
The integral interdisciplinary module for persons in the phase of recuperation, with daily hospitalization, permits people with aphasia to go on living with their family without isolating themselves. It consists of stimulation during individual sessions in combination with group workshops.
The Module of integral interdisciplinary care-giving for persons in the chronic or multiple disability phases aims fundamentally at learning behaviors which will lead to a greater autonomy and better quality of life with special emphasis on the social area.
It consists of different workshops (group activities): reading-writing, conversation, acting, sculpturing, music, healthy cooking, memory exercises, gymnastics, tangotherapy, neuromagics, yoga, puppets and masks, photography, painting, talking, computing, psychotherapy, drawing and communication, combined with several individual activities (speech therapy, psychotherapy, neuropsychology, etc.) for the treatment of specific failures.
Support during the first phase of spontaneous recovery.
Adaptation of the Orior Program to the posterior phases after aphasia occurred. It offers alternative models for the traditional treatments.
Intensive method for defining the nature of the failings in a multi-professional evaluation, diagramming a treatment and putting it into practice in order to determine the reaction of the patient. It is ideal for persons who live in distant regions where there are no specialized centers. It offers a therapeutic plan, with proved techniques and training during the last week for the professional(s) who will continue the treatment where the patient resides.
The aims of these outings are recreational and cultural, but also include the practice of autonomous and social conducts stimulated in the social programs and, at the same time, the assimilation of material (subjects, experiences) to work on in the institution.
Orientation interviews During the first meeting with the family member in charge, a close friend or the autonomous person, information is given about the pathology, the way to treat a person with aphasia, the possibilities of health care, the benefits granted by law.
A contact is established to ensure that, whether the person who asked for the interview decides to contract a service or not, he/she has good access to information, which is free of charge.
Every three months, family members and close friends of persons with aphasia are convened to exchange experiences and seek advice. The group is chaired by the coordinator of the psychology area of the institution.
"Left Hand” workshop
Created in 2002, it is aimed at giving back to people with aphasia their working status. It owes its name to the prevalent hand used in cases of right hemiplegia. Each participant manufactures unique fashion goods, designed and developed by him. It has been declared of interest by the National Senate (May 2004), with the support of the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives, the Government of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires and the Ministry of Labor.
School for people with aphasia.
The project is based on the natural neuronal plasticity of human beings. It is aimed at people who have suffered cerebral damage and, consequently, some cognitive disorders, without distinction of age or gender. The program includes subjects like Illustrated History of the Combined Arts, History of the People and their Habits, Ecology, History of the Religions and Biology. The teachers in charge of these subjects are specialists; the wives of ambassadors accredited in Argentina work as teachers as well. All the participants are evaluated with 5 questions before and after each class in order to check quantity and quality of the acquired knowledge.
Argentine Conferences of Aphasiology – biannual –
They are organized together with academic institutions; Centro de Educación Médica e Investigaciones Clínicas “Norberto Quirno” (Cemic), (Center for Medical Education and Clinical Resarch Cemic); Instituto Universitario, Escuela de Medicina, Maestría de Neuropsicología del Hospital Italiano (University Institute School of Medicine Master in Neuropsychology of the Italian Hospital) Universidad del Museo Social Argentino, etc. (University of the Argentine Social Museum).
Internships for professionals
Training Program in Aphasia aimed at speech therapists, linguists, neurolinguistics, neuropshychologists, pshycho-pedagogues, music therapist (neuromusicologists) , etc. from Argentina and other countries.
Training in Neurolinguistics
Special programs designed for linguists and speech therapists.
We organize courses, talks and workshops in our institution and outside aimed at relatives, friends, housekeepers, caregivers, geriatric assistants, nurses, etc.
We offer courses of Therapeutic Companions and Aphasia and Therapeutic Companions and Cognitive Deterioration.
It is aimed at professionals, teachers, administrative clerks and /or volunteers who want to join our working team, no matter their profession or previous activity. It is also aimed at caregivers and relatives.
Phonological discrimination: “How does it sound?”, an application for Android developed by students of the Technological University (Buenos Aires).
Augmentative communication 1: “Communicator for People with Acquired Language Disorders”, developed by Mana Desrrollo, supported by National Technological University (UTN), Buenos Aires, granted by the National Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation (Social Actors Program, PROCODAS).
Augmentative communication 2. “Conversator for People with Acquired Language Disorders”, developed by students of the School of Engineering, University of Buenos Aires (DANE Project).
School for People with Aphasia. Fundafasia.
Getting on with the International Aphasia Awareness Program together with Phd. Dr. Chris Code.
FUNDAFASIA is permanently working in the community trying to create awareness about what aphasia is, how to prevent it and how to include people with aphasia.
Government of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. Fundafasia has been collaborating with the Government of the City of Buenos Aires for many years and is still doing so through several projects won in public tenders.
Honorary Advisory Committee. Group of people with aphasia who take or took part in the activities offered by Fundafasia, their friends and relatives. Their role is to:
Honorary Support Commission. All the people who want to participate in The Honorary Support Commission work with the aim of contributing to achieving the objectives of the foundation, helping develop projects and programs and creating fundraising activities.
Fundafasia has a significant amount of Benefactors and Volunteers, Argentinian and from abroad and foreign institutions such as the Canadian Embassy, the Association of Spouses of Diplomats Accredited in Argentina (ADEA), the British Council, the University of Louisiana (USA), The University of Exeter (UK), etc.
Agustín y Enrique Rocca Foundation, Noble Foundation, Banco Ciudad Foundation, La Nación Foundation, Banco Galicia Foundation, Bunge y Born Foundation, Flecha Bus Foundation, Clarín Newspaper, Alba, Cervecería y Maltería Quilmes, Saint Thomas Country Club, Ferrum SA, Terrazas al Mar SA, Farmacias RP, Hotel Grand King, Melitax SRL Radio Taxi, Taupo SA, Tramando, Control Group SRL, AZ Editora, Petrobras, Banco de China, Banco Galicia, Paramedic, Gato Dumas, Transportadora de Gas del Norte (TGN), Transportadora de Gas del Sur (TGS), Montpellier Laboratories, Roemmers Laboratories, Peisa, Paramedic, etc.