AVANCE , the school and association for children with epilepsy and special needs was founded in Lebanon in 1997. The association was founded by Arlette Honein.
AVANCE is recognised by the Lebanese Ministry of Interior (NGO Decree # 67) and recognised by the Ministry of Education as a specialised school.
The Association’s mission is to promote personal development and foster the learning abilities of pupils with epilepsy whose needs exceed the services available in the so-called regular schools with the aim of achieving social, school and / or professional integration.
AVANCE aims to educate and care for children and adolescents with epilepsy. It has two Branches: Beirut and Mountain. There are 486 students registered at the school for the year 2018-2019.
The school aims to re-integrate pupils into a regular school, and adolescents towards socio-professional integration.
Further aims are to help the beneficiary (child or adolescent) gain autonomy to become an active member of society, to reconcile the pupil with the school by promoting his development and the realization of all his intellectual, affective and social potentials, to prepare the student for (re) integration into a regular school or for a vocational or technical apprenticeship, to guide and accompany the families concerned and to promote a child-friendly and tolerant environment (through prevention and awareness-raising).
After more than 22 years of fighting for the cause that is epilepsy, and with more than 2,000 families helped over the years, AVANCE now aims to broaden its horizons and respond to all the needs of people with epilepsy and their families.
AVANCE intends to continue to provide services relating to special education, therapeutic care and professional workshops, but some new services will be offered.
- Medical Center adapted for epilepsy – “Stéphanie Medical Center For Epilepsy”
- Internship for children and adolescents with disabilities and social problems
- Internal and external clinic for therapeutic management (Psychomotor, Speech therapy, Psychology, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy)
- Education and vocational training center for people with special needs (Languages, Informatics, Culinary Arts, Carpentry) – Professional workshops
AVANCE aims to develop:
- Specialised Medical Department for Epilepsy (diagnosis and treatment: EEG, etc.)
- Laboratory (blood tests)
- Respite house
- Center for technical education and professional development for people with special needs (languages, IT, carpentry)
- Scientific library and cultural exchange center
This institutional project is a response to the needs of people with epilepsy and their families and is the only Medico-psycho-pedagogical Center in the Middle East.