Challenges Facing the Community
Life in rural Kenya is frequently hard regardless of whether you are disabled or able bodied. The majority are peasant farmers and with recurring droughts and subsequent famines many families struggle to feed children, and many children drop from school due to lack of fees. But set within these already challenging conditions, children living with disability also frequently face isolation, abandonment, acute malnutrition, minimal access to medical services, and in many cases are living in extreme poverty and squalor. Many children with Special Needs are living lives without dignity and in pain and discomfort.
Children such as Martin, who with Cerebral Palsy and very limited mobility lie in the dirt for hours at a time with no assisted aids.
1. Supporting 14 Special Units across Tigania West
Since 2012 FKK have supported Special Needs children through the special units attached to primary schools. Working with committed individuals we have fostered the development of a highly motivated network of Special Unit teachers across Tigania West. Our interventions at the units include:
- Daily feeding program of morning porridge and lunch
- Providing classroom furniture and educational resources
- A disability football league connected to Special Olympics Kenya
- Encouraging parents and carers to form self help groups
2. Community Outreach
Working in conjunction with local Kenyan health professionals we have developed services to support the special needs community including:
- Mobile physiotherapy clinics
- Mobile nutrition clinics
- Community workshops to educate and support
- Disability Awareness days to promote inclusion and reduce stigma.
- Mother to mother playgroups at village health centres
3. The Rehema Centre... the Vision for an Early Intervention and Respite Centre
In 2012, three acres of land was purchased to build an early intervention and respite Centre for children with complex disabilities and their families. The vision for this Centre is that it will provide a base for children to come for a residential stay; enabling them to be assessed and have an intervention plan established, adapted aids can be made if appropriate. During this time mothers will have the opportunity for a time of respite from the relentless task of caring for their child with very limited resources. The child and their mother will then return home with education and resources that improve their physical and emotional well-being.
The Centre will also offer accommodation to enable overseas medical professionals to support their Kenyan colleagues in their work with these complex diagnoses.
An important part of the intervention the children require is supplying assisted aids to children. In 2016 a workshop opened on the site to manufacture chairs and standing frames from Appropriate Paper Technology developed by Cerebral Palsy Africa. At very low cost aids are manufactured here and distributed across Tigania West.
The Rehema centre requires a further £75,000 for completion.
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