St. Nicholas' Home, Penang

Our vision is of a nation that is free of barriers, where blind & visually impaired persons are not discriminated against; to have the same rights and responsibilities, share equal opportunities & the quality of life that is available to their sighted peers. Our mission is to provide education, training & employment opportunities in a caring environment, thus empowering blind & visually impaired persons to fully participate in society while helping to promote the prevention of blindness.
May 17, 2016

Meet Jim !

Jim Watering his own Ocra Plant
Jim Watering his own Ocra Plant

Jim is the newest addition to our family here at St. Nicholas Home; he came here in 2015 at the tender age of 9. His transition to the Home wasn’t an easy one, Jim was born with Chronic Retinal Detachment and deafness. Before coming to St. Nicholas Jim was under the care of his family and lived at home, he was completely dependent on them for even the most basic of tasks and struggled coping with the change of environment at St. Nicholas as his exposure to the world had been limited to the confines of his own home.

Since Jim joined the St. Nicholas family he has seen tremendous growth in many aspects. When he first came to St. Nicholas his cognitive skills were fairly undeveloped, he was unable to stack blocks, pick out a specific object from an assortment of different objects or even feel simple objects and associate them with the correct shapes with his hands. But after just 8 months of consistent, patient and loving effort he is now able to do all these things and is even learning more complex cognitive functions like opening and closing containers and matching different shapes.

At St. Nicholas we understand the importance of Independence and begin teaching skills that will allow our children to be more independent adults. At the beginning Jim was completely dependent on his family for basic tasks like eating and brushing his teeth but in the short time he has been at St. Nicholas he has been able to use a fork and spoon to eat, brush his teeth and even put on clothes with minimal supervision. Jim has even been able to learn and understand some signs that have been taught to him, this further allows him to express himself and allows him to interact with the outside world. He is able to do things like sign “Good Morning” to his teachers and understand the sign for “Meal time”.

We hope that by the end of the year Jim will be able to improve his focus, do basic tasks on his own without any supervision at all and is able to communicate better  with the teachers at St. Nicholas to help us better understand his needs. Thank you for your undying support in helping us change these children’s lives for the better.

Learning how to make a sandwich
Learning how to make a sandwich
May 17, 2016

Say Hello to Ari

Doing her exercises
Doing her exercises

This is Ari, she is one of the youngest members of our family here at St. Nicholas Home at just 5 years old. When Ari was born she was diagnosed with congenital Hydrocephalus which lead to cortical blindness, she was referred to St. Nicholas at the tender age of 1 year and 5 months. She wasn’t able to turn her body on her own, lacked the motor skills needed for sucking and swallowing and wasn’t responding to stimuli in her environment. Her age also meant that she lacked some basic development, such as control and function of head, arms and legs.

Her condition made it more challenging for our instructors to prioritize which activities would be more critical for her growth and development as a child. Our instructors decided to focus first on motor skills. With the patient guidance of our skilled trainers and Ari’s supportive family we were able to help her improve her motor functions. At our latest visit she was able to sit up, balance herself while standing up and had no redness or swelling in any part of her body as a result of stress on the muscles near the joints. After her training in motor skill got going, we began to work on her social and communication skills. Recently she has been able to recognize not only her teachers but also been able to communicate through gestures and is slowly beginning to comprehend words. This is a huge step forward, as we can begin to show her how she can express how she feels to those around her.

Ari’s journey has not been an easy one; she lives at home with her family in another state, quite a distance from St. Nicholas. We were not able to visit her as often as we’d like but by teaching her family members the exercises and periodically checking in, in-between sessions with the trainer we have been able to help her consistently improve over the years.

We at St. Nicholas Home are very proud of Ari’s progress and it has only been possible because of the donations we are receiving from Global Giving, thank you all for your very generous contributions and support. This support is what allows us to continue to help children like Ari significantly improve their chances for a more independent lives and brighter future.

Mar 15, 2016

Slowly but surely is Jin

Jin learning about shapes
Jin learning about shapes

Meet Jin*. He’s a 4-year-old boy who is in St. Nicholas’ Home’s Early Intervention Program. JIn suffers from Oculocutaneous Albinism and has been diagnosed with Autism. He also has low vision rendering him almost completely dependent on others since birth.

Jin is an only child who is currently living with his mother and father. He can understand instructions given to him and he interacts well with his family, as well as, other children his age. Like most 4-year-old boys, he’s very adventurous. He likes to explore his surrounding area often.

After being introduced to St. Nicholas’ Home a little over a year ago, the greatest improvement we’ve seen in Jin has been in his communication. He’s learning how to communicate best through repetition. He is also learning how communicate in multiple languages. His parents were encouraged to continue to speak to him in multiple languages to help further his development in communication.

Our hope for Jin is to continue to help develop his communication skills, enhance his cognitive skills, and ultimately push him to live more independently. We are also very encouraged by his parents who have taken a step towards Jin’s development by sending him to Prospect Rainbow, which offers support to children with disabilities.

(*not his real name)

 

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