Children  Kenya Project #8203

Help Kenyan children with disabilities into school

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
Bunks for Irindiro children's dormitory
Irindiro mattresses
Irindiro mattresses
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

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”

There is a lot going on with our partners at the Disability Community Centre (DCC) in Maua, and the two disability schools with whom HATW works.

The DCC had two HATW volunteers visiting for three weeks in June; they worked alongside the DCC team and also in the school in Athi and their visit has made a great impact. We hope to send round their report shortly. The DCC staff team have also benefitted from receiving ongoing training.

In Athi school, the three new classrooms have now been completed; there is still work to be done, however, to improve water and sanitation as well as to provide equipment and furniture.

At Irindiro school, there is a plan for the work that is to be done. The water supply has been installed and the dormitory renovation work is to be completed during the school holidays in August. A carpenter has begun work on making 22 beds for the children and 34 mattresses with waterproof covers will be purchased from Meru town which will be sufficient for all the beds.

The next stage will be to start work on building a new classroom and a security fence to make sure the children cannot wander outside the school grounds. All these improvements will make such a difference to everyday life and learning at the school! There is still a shortage of specialist learning equipment, desks and chairs as well as basic paper, pencils, educational toys and musical instruments which would develop the skills of the disabled children who attend the school.

What could you do to help? Have you time to spend as a volunteer working in our partner projects? Or could you raise funds for special learning equipment? Please donate on line, or contact HATW if you would like to volunteer.

We are also looking forward to Oliver the DCC project manager’s visit in September; we hope to arrange a number of visits to local disability centres as well providing a wider experience of life in the UK. Hopefully he will make new contacts and we may be able to encourage other professionals to visit as professional volunteers to share their skills.

Children in Irindiro classroom
Children in Irindiro classroom

The work to support Irindiro school is the current priority in our partnership with the Disability Community Centre.

HATW has been successful in identifying and applying for funding for these priority areas:

  • completing the dormitory building and providing beds and mattresses for all the resident children

  • extending electricity and water supplies to the school

  • providing security fencing so that children don't wander off the school premises

  • Funding for a new classroom

However, this will only provide basic essentials for the school and its 45 resident children. We now need to raise further funds to:

  • equip the new classroom with desks

  • provide specialist learning resources for the children e.g. the group of hearing impaired children

  • provide kitchen equipment and eating utensils

Is this something which you would be able to support? We are setting a new funding target of £2,000 specifically for these items for Irindiro special school.

We have some volunteers going to visit the project this month. They will spend time with DCC and in the special disability schools with the children.

Could you offer time or special skills and go to work with our partners?

If you are interested, please contact:

We are also looking forward to a UK visit from the DCC project manager - we hope to link him with local projects in the South Wales are to extend his experiences and to help him build links with other disability professionals here.

Irindiro classroom
Irindiro classroom

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Organization Information


Location: MONMOUTH, MONMOUTHSHIRE - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
David Steiner
Executive Officer
Monmouth, Monmouthshire United Kingdom

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