Help Kenyan children with disabilities into school

by HANDS AROUND THE WORLD
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Help Kenyan children with disabilities into school
Help Kenyan children with disabilities into school
Help Kenyan children with disabilities into school
Help Kenyan children with disabilities into school
Help Kenyan children with disabilities into school
Help Kenyan children with disabilities into school
Help Kenyan children with disabilities into school
Help Kenyan children with disabilities into school
Help Kenyan children with disabilities into school
Help Kenyan children with disabilities into school
Help Kenyan children with disabilities into school
Help Kenyan children with disabilities into school
Help Kenyan children with disabilities into school
The new classroom at Irindiro School
The new classroom at Irindiro School

Irindiro primary school’s special unit

The work at the Irindiro primary school’s special unit is continuing well. The water installation and water tank has enabled the school to have a constant source of fresh water. It is now much easier getting water for all the 63 children in the boarding facility. The water is used in preparing the meals as well as cleaning and bathing the children.

The beds and mattresses have ensured that each child has their own bed with a mattress, unlike before where up to 3 children used to share a bed with a sheet of cardboard for a mattress.

The mains electricity work and wiring of the dormitory was completed. A connection to the grid is still pending and hopefully within a couple of weeks the electricity company will provide the link and have lighting for the school.

The new classroom is almost complete and with this the hearing-impaired children using a part of the dormitory for a classroom will have a more conducive room in which to learn.

Thank you for your support!

Irindiro classroom
Irindiro classroom
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Children come to the DCC for physio and other help
Children come to the DCC for physio and other help

How quickly it seems that three months pass, before the next project report is due! The pace of life in the UK seems to move much faster than that of our friends and colleagues in the disability schools we partner in Kenya.

The good news is that the building work in Athi school is complete – this means that toilet blocks are now usable by the children. In Irindiro school, the planned improvements have also been making slow but steady progress, though there is always more work to be done.

How our partnership works - Hands Around the World has heard of an opportunity to support young people who are interested in training in nursing or other similar health professions, and who have the necessary grades in their exams to enable them to start their training this year. The DCC has been able to identify a nursing training course in the local Methodist hospital, next door to the disability centre. As the requirement would be for health staff who were trained in this way to continue to work within the country for at least 2 years post-graduation, we are considering the potential for them to be employed by the disability centre for outreach work into the local communities, when their training is complete. To date there have been three applicants for training places, for whom the cost is currently a barrier to continuing their qualifications.

We aim to enable some candidates to pursue this health training opportunity; as well as gaining personal qualifications, they would be able to dedicate some of the time during their training to the DCC, such as supporting outreach clinics. This would provide an invaluable resource to the disability centre, however we will still need to identify funding for their ongoing employment.

How can you help?

  • Make a lasting difference – sponsor a child through the Hand in Hand scheme
  • Donate your skills – maybe you are a disability therapist or have special needs teaching skills? Contact us to find out how you could share your professional skills through a visit to our project partners
  • Raise money through a local event, which can be used by the project to provide essential therapy resources and equipment to disabled children in the community
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Collecting water at Irindiro School
Collecting water at Irindiro School
The work of our DCC partner with Irindiro school continues into 2018. Security fencing is being erected around the school perimeter, which will ensure that children are not able to wander off the premises.
Water butts are now in place so that a water supply is available without having to be carried to the school.
Dormitory improvements, delayed by bad weather, are now going ahead and the bunk beds and mattresses are ready to use in the improved building.
We are delighted that the charity has been able to secure funding for these improvements, but there is still much to be done:
  • a new classroom to be built
  • Special horseshoe seating and desks for teaching hearing-impaired students, yet to be provided
  • Teaching resources needed for a wide variety of disabled children
We also look forward to sending more enthusiastic people out from the UK to volunteer for a few weeks with our DCC partners, both in the community as well as in the Athi and Irindiro special needs schools.
What could you do to help?
- Could you give your time on a volunteering trip?
  • Do you have specialist therapy or disability teaching skills that you could share?
  • Maybe you have access to specialist equipment, which would enable the DCC workshops to provide an improved service to support disabled children?
Or maybe you would prefer to give money to support the education and therapy for children at the special schools...
We are so delighted when we see children who had so little hope for the future being given new opportunities to develop and learn. Would you like to be a part of this success story too?
Contact us please for more information on how you could make a difference.
Irindiro dormitory and water butt
Irindiro dormitory and water butt
Bunks for Irindiro children's dormitory
Bunks for Irindiro children's dormitory
Irindiro mattresses
Irindiro mattresses
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Oliver K in the UK
Oliver K in the UK

Since our August report we have been delighted to host the DCC Project Manager, Oliver K, at Hands around the World UK; he had a busy visit, made possible by a Hub Cymru Africa Grant.

During his time here he was able to compare his own experience at Meru North Disability Centre (DCC) with other organisations in Wales. He visited Serennu which is a well-equipped Centre for children with disabilities with amazing facilities and dedicated staff, as well as Disabled People's Organisations (DPOs) in Brecon who are doing an amazing job ensuring their town is disability accessible. It was also a chance to visit past volunteers, the charity offices and staff and strengthen links by developing relationships and mutual understanding.

Oliver was able to update us with news that construction of the toilets and wash facilities for Athi school can now begin. Also that at Irindiro school, a carpenter is working on making new beds for the school, with complete renovation of the building planned during the third term break at the end October  - we are looking forward to a further update on progress. We are keen to have facilities at Irindiro which will support the disabled children effectively and also to encourage the enthusiastic and committed teaching staff there.

In Oliver’s words following his recent visit :

“…. having observed the immense difference between UK and Kenya’s approaches towards disability, I feel challenged to make a difference and am even more empowered with new ideas and approaches in working with disabled communities back home in Kenya. I say thank you to all at Hands Around the World and the many other people and organisations for making this experience possible.”

Are you challenged too?

You can help in a number of ways... by giving:

  • Your time – spend time as a volunteer working alongside the staff at DCC and the special schools
  • Your skills – if you have particular skills, you could visit the project as a skilled volunteer, sharing your experience.
  • Your ability to fundraise – hold a garage sale, sell items on eBay, bake cakes or hold coffee mornings; all proceeds can be donated to help support this project with special learning equipment for the disability schools.

Please donate on line, or contact HATW if you would like to volunteer.

Oliver at the HATW Trustees Meeting
Oliver at the HATW Trustees Meeting
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Coral and I have recently volunteered with HATW and spent the month of June in Maua, Meru district, Kenya. Our aim was to support disabled children and help the local team alleviate the stigma around disability. I have never travelled to this part of the world before, I was apprehensive but looking forward to my experience.

Once we had arrived in Nairobi we took a 7-hour bumpy ride to Maua. On arrival we were overwhelmed with the welcome we received and a little nervous with all the attention. We quickly came to realise that there was nothing to worry about, Kenyan people are so friendly and on our frequent walks to the shops and markets we would stop to talk with the locals - what should have taken a 10-minute visit took more like an hour. The Kenyans are so relaxed in their life approach, such grateful and humble people.

Our visit involved visiting children with disabilities in the community and at local schools; we saw the best and worst of the county. We spent some time at Athi School - there were nearly 100 pupils at this school who lived in most of the time except during holiday periods. The facilities were not ideal and far from what I am used to, but Esther the head teacher has made huge amounts of progress; they still have some way to go before the facilities are more comfortable for them.

On our arrival at Athi the welcome we had from the children was amazing, I did not have enough hands and arms to hold them all. They gave us so much love and affection and in return we gave love and affection too. I expected my visit to be emotional - I spent most of my time with a huge smile on my face. The impact we had on the children warmed my heart and made me feel so happy, every morning I would be excited to see them.

One evening Coral and I made some shakers for the children to use as musical instruments, the following day we took them to the school and the smiles and excitement on the children's faces was amazing, the gratitude for something so small was fantastic. I am still in touch with them and will visit them again in 2018, the experience has changed my life and is one I will never forget.

I say to anyone thinking of doing this: “DO IT, YOU WONT REGRET IT! , ITS AMAZING”

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Organization Information

HANDS AROUND THE WORLD

Location: MONMOUTH, MONMOUTHSHIRE - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Bridget Higginson
Monmouth, Monmouthshire United Kingdom
$5,082 raised of $9,421 goal
 
73 donations
$4,339 to go
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