The North Meru DCC is about to begin a 2 year project, with money raised by HATW, to develop and equip the existing basic Orthopaedic Workshop. The improvements will enhance capacity and improve services to disabled children in the surrounding community – including Athi school - to support on going therapy for children.
The improved workshop facility will have the capacity to manufacture wheelchairs and mobility aids for use in the local community. Growing children need their aids to be suited to their size, and without a local workshop, children continue to use unsuitable aids which can result in secondary problems. Additionally, provision of core therapy room equipment will enable staff to treat and train children with their new mobility aids.
This new initiative will develop the technical skills of existing staff and provide a better range of mobility aids as they work with children in the local community. It is hoped that the improved workshop may also provide a service to the local hospitals, and thus generate additional income to support the DCC as it continues to work with disabled children and their families in practical ways.
Can you help support the work with DCC or at Athi school in practical ways?
You can give your money or your time to support this work - we are looking for specialist volunteers to work with our local partners. If you have physiotherapy or technical workshop skills, or if you would like the opportunity to work alongside the DCC to support them practically as they extend their facilities, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Our North Meru DCC partners have been working to assess priority needs for Athi school and the disabled children who are resident there. The focus of this initiative is to improve existing kitchen, dining and boarding facilities for the children, with a maintenance and improvement programme.
As long-standing partners of both the DCC and the school, HANDS AROUND THE WORLD is determined to support well managed and effective local initiatives. We are therefore delighted when we can work in partnership to achieve an improved standard for children attending the school.
There have been several personnel changes at the DCC in recent weeks including the departure of the programme director. Consequently the management is working to bring the new director and some other team members on board and we are seeking to build new relationships with them. This is of necessity a period of consolidation and evaluation and we hope to be able to send a fuller report shortly.
Nelly, one of the young girls at Athi School who had needed extensive bowel surgery, has happily now been told that no further operations are required; she will be kept under 6-monthly review at the Kenyatta Hospital in Nairobi.
HANDS AROUND THE WORLD has recently set up the Chris Halsey Tribute Fund in memory of one of our former trustees who worked as a nurse. The fund will help other needy children access surgical or medical help which they would otherwise be unable to afford, and also help with the cost of equipment or appliances such as wheelchairs, crutches etc..
We would of course be delighted if you would like to donate to this Fund!
We are pleased that more volunteers from the UK have been able to visit our partner projects at the Disability Centre in Maua and Athi disability school recently – Hands Around the World recognises the importance of ongoing relationships, so that the support we can offer is led by our partner’s needs.
In August we had just started the process of seeking a sponsoring partner to enable the development of the Orthopaedic workshop and therapy room at the disability centre. We are delighted that we have now achieved three quarters of the funding needed, and are now only looking for the money to support the staff training element of the original proposal. Can you contribute towards the extra £5000 that is needed? We look forward to starting this initiative from next January.
We want, by our support, to help provide improved services to children with disabilities – whether they are living in their home communities or attending the disability school in Athi. As well as disability aids, the children need the opportunity to develop life skills which will support them in the future. We hope to promote income generating initiatives which will support the projects and give the children opportunities to learn new skills. How about sponsoring chickens, or a fish pool, so that the children can learn to care for the animals and earn an income too…..?
Two ‘Hands Around the World’ volunteers are currently based with the disability centre in the town of Maua and are spending time with our partner school at Athi and the disabled children. There is plenty of work to be done in supporting the work of the disability project, and the volunteers are also spending time with the women from the self-help project; this project aims to encourage women from poor backgrounds, with a disability themselves or a disabled relative, to save and invest in small local initiatives with the support of an Area Community Facilitator. In this way, mothers are able to develop small income generating projects and this helps to support the family and pay for children’s school costs.
One of the things the volunteers have already achieved is to create a short Kenyan Sign Language booklet. Local staff had identified a serious problem with of lack of communication between deaf children and the project staff,their parents and in their communities. This beginner’s guide can be circulated to help get people talking! For each word there is the Swahili, English, a symbol for those who can't read, as well as the sign.
HATW continues to support disabled members of the community, and is actively seeking a sponsoring partner to facilitate the development of an Orthopaedic workshop and to provide basic equipment for a therapy room. The core aim of this project is to enhance capacity and improve services to disabled children in the surrounding community – including those at Athi school - and to support ongoing therapy for those children.
The aim is to provide training for existing staff, and the opportunity for a new technician apprentice to be trained. Currently, the workshop is able to execute repairs and adaptations to existing mobility aids. Working with disabled children, there is a constant demand for new wheelchairs and aids as the children grow – these can be prohibitively expensive and continuing use of the inappropriate or out grown mobility supports can actually cause further harm. Developing the local provision would enable the correct ongoing support to disabled children as they grow, giving them the best potential for the future.
The centre already provides assessments of individual needs through outreach visits and family discussions, but lacks the resource to offer the range of solutions which may be life-changing.
Our commitment through HATW continues, and with access to adequate funding we hope to send a volunteer to support the workshop development and local outreach on a longer term placement.
Will you help us to achieve the funding necessary to jump-start the workshop development?
With the required initial investment, our local partners aim to use the workshop facility to provide some ongoing income as they are commissioned to provide equipment for children at local hospitals and clinics. In this way, they intend to finance ongoing community initiatives for the disabled.
Continuing our links with Athi school, HANDS AROUND THE WORLD plans to send two new volunteers to the school this summer. They will share their time between supporting the disabled children at the school and working with the disability centre at the nearby town of Maua.
Children attending the school stay in the dormitory and benefit from regular meals as well as basic educational support. Families must pay a basic fee for their children to attend, however this is often a challenge for low income families.
Funds which are donated to the school are used to provide additional resources, educational equipment and to supplement support staff costs. Having a dining and kitchen area (built by HATW volunteers) has been a great benefit, but there is still need for additional basic equipment for cooking and serving food.
Additionally, we would like to raise funds to equip an Orthopaedic workshop – just £500 to start this project. All this money will go to the partner project at the Disability Community Centre in Maua – for equipment, staff training in practical skills and a contribution towards helping children of the very poorest families by funding the necessary mobility equipment. The DCC works with children attending Athi school, providing regular therapy visits for children with long-term physical needs; please help us achieve this initial target to ensure that the children attending the school can have appropriate mobility aids.
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