WATERFORD, CONNECTICUT - Consul Felipe CariAo III led a delegation from the Philippine Consulate General in New York to join 170 Filipinos from community organizations in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts during the first gala night of Kids Philippines Inc.

Kids Philippines Inc. is a community project based in Connecticut that provides financial aid, and school supplies and scholarship assistance to deserving but underprivileged Filipino children in the Philippines - held at Great Neck Country Club, Connecticut.

In his remarks, Consul CariAo congratulated Ms. Cherry Smyth, the Filipino-American founder and Chair of Kids Philippines Inc., for organizing initiatives and humanitarian aid missions that benefit underprivileged children in the Philippines.

He also thanked her for supporting the Consulate General's initiative to raise awareness for children with autism or who fall in the autism spectrum on the occasion of Autism Consciousness Week in February.

Autism awareness in the Philippines is below par. This is made difficult by poor medical screening and treatment infrastructure support.

According to him, of the estimated 500,000 cases in 2008, and about a million cases at present, the actual number might be higher because of undetected cases in the rural areas.

Consul CariAo led a delegation from the Consulate General composed of Mr. Charlie Nabo, Mr. Carlos Cruz, Mr. Carlo Aspeli and Mr. Ryan De Jesus of the Philippine Mission, during the event.

Last December, Consul General Ma. Theresa Dizon-De Vega launched Fashion Arts for Autism Benefit, in cooperation with Autism Hearts Foundation, which seeks to raise awareness of autism in the Philippines through a series of activities in New York that includes a Fashion Show at the Consulate General and an art exhibit at the United Nations later this year featuring pinya shawls decorated by children with autism. END

Source: Republic of Philippines Department Of Foreign Affairs