Our story begins with a psychologist, an economist, an engineer, and a Peace Corps Volunteer.
Jeremy meets Cathy
Sometime during the fall of 2004, in the city of Tbilisi, Georgia, Cathy McLain, an Educational Psychologist, was introduced to Jeremy Gaskill, a Peace Corps Volunteer. Jeremy was assisting a small group of teachers in the western part of the country to develop services for children with disabilities. Knowing that he was over his head and learning of Cathy’s background, Jeremy invited Cathy to visit.
A partnership was forged
Cathy did visit. And once there, she encountered a bleak reality: Children with disabilities were relegated to homes; desperate parents were cut off from information and support; and there was a complete absence of services and adaptive equipment. Determined to help, she visited again, bringing her husband, Roy Southworth (the economist) and their close friend, Rezo Chinchaladze (the engineer). A partnership was forged and the unlikely quartet began the long slow task of assessing children, educating parents, and introducing meaningful services.
Lives were Changed
Time passed. Jeremy finished his tour with Peace Corps and returned to the US. Cathy, Rezo and Roy continued the work, eventually establishing a Georgian NGO, the McLain Association for Children, Georgia. Through their efforts hundreds of persons with disabilities obtained assistance and countless parents, teachers, and service providers from across the country received crucial education and support.
the McLain Association for Children, Inc. was Created
Now back in the United States and motivated by their concern that Georgia and other developing countries around the world continue to face severe shortages of qualified professionals in the disability field, Cathy and Roy reunited with Jeremy to establish a US-based 501c3 organization, the McLain Association for Children, Inc. (MAC). Together they continue to work towards their vision that persons of all abilities, no matter where they live, will have access to the quality education and services they need to achieve their full potential.