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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 in 2003 in direct response to parents’ needs.

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

We currently have 3 branches, ASK – Geneva, ASK –  Zurich, and ASK – Vaud Chapters, and becoming a truly multicultural and multilingual resource for the parents and school communities in Switzerland.

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 Board

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

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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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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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Joy Tong

Board Member

ASK’s journey began in 2003, when Joy started the organisation in direct response to the lack of support for Anglophone parents with children who have special needs. For Joy supporting the socially vulnerable and those with special needs has been a life-long passion and ASK is cultivated out of her experience, compassion and commitment.

 

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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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Joy Tong

Board Member

ASK’s journey began in 2003, when Joy started the organisation in direct response to the lack of support for Anglophone parents with children who have special needs. For Joy supporting the socially vulnerable and those with special needs has been a life-long passion and ASK is cultivated out of her experience, compassion and commitment.

 

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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!

Comments From Parents

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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 !

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    School administrator

    “When you walk around ASK Summer Camp for the first time, you recognize all the signs of a great camp: colors, music, laughs, excited kids and even more excited staff. A closer look at the very specific set of activities make you realize that you have reached a place in which learning is back to its roots, the freeing of the learner.”

Our Management 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. 

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.

Jacqueline Martin

Fundraising Officer (volunteer)

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.

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

Samira

Financial/Office Assistant

My name is Samira with background in Banking and Finance. I have also worked with an NGO in Ghana where I was responsible for children and women affairs, an experience I carry with me even in my current role. With an MBA from the EU Business School in Geneva, I have been with ASK Foundation since year 2020 mainly in Finance but also supporting the Interns with the office work as part of efforts to orient and equip them with the basics of the work environment. Engaging with the Interns is an endearing role I very much look forward to, each day.

Reanna Joay

Office Manager Zurich

Reanna comes from a multi-cultural background and has live in Switzerland for over 20 years. She comes from a business, marketing, and digital marketing background. Reanna has a large network and is very active in the local and expat community.

Our Story

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Joy Tong

Founder of ASK

Let us introduce to you our founder – Joy Tong.

 

Joy started ASK-All Special Kids in 2003, as a direct response to the lack of support for Anglophone parents of children with learning differences and special educational needs. But Joy’s experience and passion for supporting the socially vulnerable and those with special needs has been a life-long labour of love.

The story of ASK – as well as Joy’s own story – is one of the individuals coming together and collectively overcoming significant challenges. A native of Burma, Joy immigrated to the US as a refugee in 1979 with her parents, two brothers, and four sisters. For more than two decades, Joy and her family lived out the American dream. Joy dedicated herself to the underprivileged, applying her law degree and schooling to co-found Burmese Women of New York, an advocacy group for the Burmese immigrant victims of domestic violence, families struggling with HIV/AIDS and those in need of assistance within the New York City school system. During this time Joy was the primary caregiver for her sister Linda, who has special needs and severe learning difficulties.

In 1992, Joy gave birth to a daughter, Allegra, who was born with overall low muscle tone and significant special needs. This was the start of a long journey involving much research, learning, and growth. In 2001, Joy relocated to Switzerland where she struggled to find the appropriate support for Allegra. She began to network with other parents in Geneva, sharing information and experiences and found that many were experiencing similar struggles in their search for specialists and support services for their children. By 2003, Joy, with the support of five parents, founded Anglophone Special Kids, a prelude to what is known today as ASK-All Special Kids. Joy has been the driving force behind ASK since it’s creation, finding solutions to meet the continually changing needs of a transient population. In 2018 ASK celebrated its 15th anniversary, a huge milestone for any organisation and without Joy’s service, passion and commitment ASK would not be where it is today. When asked how she keeps motivated, Joy will tell you that her inspiration comes from Allegra and children just like her.

Our Supporters

Thank you for your continued support