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Who We Are

Just ask

We are here to help

ASK is a Geneva-based, non-profit organisation and an NGO founded by Joy Tong in 2003 in direct response to the needs of parents, their children, teenagers and young adults with learning differences and special educational needs.

ASK provides a welcoming, caring, nurturing environment, whether you’ve just arrived in Switzerland or have lived here all your life.

Our work is guided by the following four core values: C.A.R.E: Community – Assistance Resource – Enrichment

Our Mission

ASK is dedicated to offering a range of programmes and services to fulfil these core values, driven by the needs of parents, their children, young adults, and professionals.

  1. Support families and their children and young adults with learning differences and special educational needs.

  2. Raise both public and professional awareness of Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) and the need for early detection, proper diagnosis, appropriate recommendations and specialist support.

  3. Increase parental and professional awareness of services within the community.

  4. Bridge the gap between parents, educators, and specialists, finding the best solution for each individual – both academically and socially.

  5. ASK is committed to establishing meaningful social experiences for individuals with learning differences.

  6. ASK is committed to offering training opportunities for community partners and professionals to build awareness and support meaningful inclusion for all individuals with differential learning needs.

Our Team

Dr. Jennifer Holloway

C.Psychol., Ps.S.I., BCBA-D ASK/ACCESS Director

Dr Jennifer Holloway is the new CEO of ASK and the Director of the ACCESS program. Dr. Holloway is a Chartered Psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She has worked with children and adults with differential learning needs for over 25years, as a clinician and researcher. Jennifer has specific expertise in designing evidence-based practices to teach socially significant goals for individuals. She has spent many years supporting families and other professionals through delivering training courses and workshops. Jennifer is dedicated to advancing ASK to provide a range of services and supports to meet the needs of the individual with differential diagnoses, their families, and community partners. 

Dr. Lorna Barry

BCBA, M.PS.S.I, MSC., PH.D. ACCESS PROGRAM SUPERVISOR

Dr. Lorna Barry is a psychologist working across ASK programs and is the ACCESS Program Supervisor. She is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst, and obtained her MSc. in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Limerick, Ireland. She has extensive experience working with children and young adults, helping them to build social and independent skills within their homes and communities. 

Sandrika Luce-Scheftsik

Operation Development Officer

Sandrika is the Operational Development Manager for ASK and is responsible for the management and coordination of events, programs, and activities. Sandrika taught psychology, management, and organisational behaviour for fifteen years at the University of France, before returning to Switzerland to focus on socio-professional integration.

Nadine Nuwayhid

Financial Manager (Volunteer)

Nadine has over 15 years of banking operational experience and holds an MBA from Boston University. She is an advocate for humanitarian causes and is active in the Geneva fundraising scene for various NGO’s. She was born in Lebanon and grew up in the US and the Middle East, and now lives in Geneva. She brings her fundraising know-how and humanitarian network to the team

Patricia Choueiri

Administrative and Volunteers Coordinator

Patricia is multicultural with Mediterranean and European origins, multilingual; she studied sociology, public relations and is specializing in marketing and digital in Switzerland where she moved recently. She has over 20 years of marketing, advertising and business development experience in different sectors. She founded and managed successfully for the last 5 years in Lebanon a socio-cultural and self-development academy for kids, teens, and parents. Now she helps in Switzerland small and medium enterprises in developing their market potential and at the same time is the administrative and volunteer’s coordinator at ASK.

Jacqueline Martin

Chair, Fundraising Committee

An Anglo-Swiss national, Jacqueline spent 14 years’ working in offshore fund management and fund research in London before moving to Geneva in 2010. After several years volunteering as Office Manager at ASK, Jacqueline is now Chair of ASK’s Fundraising Committee. She is also a Board member of Association des Femmes pour la Planète and a voluntary trainer at the Association Sportive des Schtroumpfs.

Renata Cavalli Pessa

Communications Officer

Digital designer specialised in attending small businesses. Fine Art Photographer. After volunteering at its fundraising events and working as Office Manager at ASK, Renata is now the Communications Officer with primary responsibilities with ASK to lead, support, and develop ASK and ACCESS branding and effective communications on programs and services for the benefit of the team and key stakeholders.

Our Board

Our board strives to ensure ASK is best supporting children with learning differences and special educational needs throughout Switzerland.

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David Ogden

Board Member

David is the Chief of the Governance Branch of the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions administered by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). He joined UNEP in March 1997 and served as the Co-ordinator of the Stockholm Convention through its negotiation and following its entry into force. He served as elected member of the Board of International School of Geneva from 2011 to 2019, on its Executive Committee for six years then Board Chair during his final year.
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Elaine Curry

Board Member

Elaine first became involved with ASK in 2003 when her son took part in a number of its programs. Experiencing first hand the positive difference ASK makes, Elaine became more involved in the organisation and was appointed to the Board in 2008. She was a Director at Merrill Lynch Banque Suisse for 13 years before moving to the US.
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Anne-Lise Mumenthaler Muller

Board Member

Anne-Lise has worked as a Project Manager for 20 years in a family-owned staffing company based in Geneva. Her elder son was diagnosed with dyslexia and is currently studying Engineering at EPFL, Lausanne, after receiving the support he needed.
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Charles Firmenich

Chairman

Charles worked for 38 years in the family company in Finance, general management and ultimately as Chairman of the family holding company. His work took him to the USA, Latin America, the UK and finally back to Switzerland. He has 2 children and 4 grandchildren, one of whom motivated him to accept the ASK-All Special Kids Chairman post and gave him the determination to make a difference to the lives of children and young adults with special educational needs.
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Augustine Agyeman-Duah

Treasurer

Augustine, Audit Manager at the Global Fund, is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Forensic Auditor with 15 years’ experience in Finance, governance, auditing and risk management in the public and private sectors. He also serves on the Board of the African Investment Program for Innovation and Finance in Bern and Maxim Nyansa IT Solutions in Ghana.

We love to hear from our parents and partners!

Comments From Parents and Partners

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    Nicolas Dumolin, Muséum d’histoire naturelle (MHN)

    J’ai eu énormément de plaisir à recevoir Elias au Museum d’histoire naturelle de Genève, durant quelques semaine. Son enthousiasme et son intérêt à découvrir le métier de la surveillance et de la sécurité m’ont donné beaucoup de joie. Toute l’équipe de la sécurité garde un bon souvenir d’Elias. L’équipe d’encadrement ainsi que le coach étaient super et bien veillant, nous avons eu beaucoup de plaisir à partager cette expérience avec eux.

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    Dr David Claivaz, IIL

    I am deeply impressed with the generous and sincere engagement of ASK in favor of kids with Special Education Needs, as well as the neurotypical ones.

    I wrote an IIL Blog Post called “The Essence of Learning”. Google the title to find out more.

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    Parent

    It was very helpful to have so much positive feedback on the idea of James going into a special school as I was not sure that it was the best thing for him, but it looks like it is a very good option. It’s important to have a group where you can say almost anything and not feel judged or criticised to get the feedback, support and ideas from others and be able to off load a bit of the pressure !

Our Supporters

Thank you for your continued support