JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Society of Autism Families launched its first joint autism endowment fund licensed by the General Authority for Awqaf, with assets worth SR50 million ($13.3 million).
The fund’s goal is to achieve sustainable financing of autism-focused projects, and improve quality of life for those with autism spectrum disorder and their families through high-quality, service-driven projects.
Prince Saud bin Abdulaziz bin Farhan, SAF chairman, said during the launch event that since its establishment the fund has been analyzing the needs of people with autism spectrum disorder.
SAF is a nonprofit charitable organization that offers counseling services, and holds awareness campaigns and social initiatives.
He said that endowment funds offer long-term financial sustainability for nonprofit organizations.
However, SAF is the first joint fund to be licensed by the General Authority for Awqaf.
The chairman said that contributions to the endowment fund will showcase social solidarity in the Kingdom.
The number of people with autism is increasing rapidly and care for such cases is costly, especially considering the lack of services provided to them, he added.
Investment in SAF is expected to exceed SR150 million, which will be spent on education and rehabilitation programs, specialized medical clinics, accommodation centers, and sensory rooms in the Grand Mosque of Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, as well as other projects.
The fund's coordination committee will spearhead coordination with other specialized societies operating in Saudi Arabia.