Specialist care for 200 children with disabilities

by Raising Futures Kenya
Specialist care for 200 children with disabilities
Specialist care for 200 children with disabilities
Specialist care for 200 children with disabilities
Specialist care for 200 children with disabilities
Specialist care for 200 children with disabilities
Specialist care for 200 children with disabilities
Specialist care for 200 children with disabilities
Specialist care for 200 children with disabilities
Specialist care for 200 children with disabilities
Specialist care for 200 children with disabilities
Specialist care for 200 children with disabilities
Specialist care for 200 children with disabilities
Specialist care for 200 children with disabilities
Specialist care for 200 children with disabilities
Tomatoes ready for harvesting soon
Tomatoes ready for harvesting soon

Thank you for your kind and generous support to enable two special educational needs schools in Kenya become fully self-reliant.  Unfortunately the 9 month school closure in Kenya due to COVID-19 last year, and a further lockdown in March this year, has delayed the progress of the income generating projects at both schools.  We are still very hopeful that both schools will be generating enough income to no longer require external support by the end of the summer this year.  Increasing their sustainability, and reducing reliance on overseas funding, will make the schools more resilient and able to help future generations of children.

School lunches and physiotherapy services

All students returned to the two schools in January when they reopened, they were delighted to be back with their friends.  The two schools were supported with a feeding programme for the learners’ lunches and with physiotherapy services.

The school lunches were especially important as the majority of the parents could not afford to pay the school fees, although they are highly subsidised, due to the effects of COVID-19 on the economy and the majority of them sadly losing their livelihoods and jobs. The learners enjoyed hot meals for their breakfast, lunch and dinner, and additional mid-morning and evening snacks thanks to the feeding programme support from you and a grant from Help Every Day.

The physiotherapy sessions were also very well received by the parents and the teachers especially since most learners had missed those while at home for 9 months in 2020. The parents could not hide their joy when collecting their children for the school holiday when they saw the improvement their children had made from the therapy sessions!

Income generating activities

Percy Davies school, with the support of the Rotary Club of Parklands in Nairobi, built a small building to house the new posho mill in.  The building was completed in mid-March after approval and sign-off by the government public works officer.  They also had high voltage power installed in the house to run the posho mill.  

Unfortunately, on March 26th, Kenya went into a second lockdown and cessation of movement due to escalating cases of COVID-19.  The delivery of the posho mill was postponed until the movement restrictions could be lifted.  The restrictions were lifted on 1st May and we are delighted to say that the posho mill has now been delivered and is ready for use!

The greenhouse in Percy Davies was planted with tomatoes by the beginning of March after the tomatoes had germinated from their nurseries in February.  The training of the teachers and non-teaching staff to tender the tomatoes continued with an agronomist supervising their progress fortnightly.  The team has done an excellent job and the tomatoes started fruiting in April and they should be having their first harvest by the end of May 2021.

We are very excited to see the progress of the green house and are looking forward to the first harvest soon!  This wouldn’t have been possible without your kind support and a grant from Help Every Day, thank you!

The school continues to tend to the orange and mango trees in their farm and are positive they should be getting their first harvest by December this year as the trees have already started flowering and fruiting in small numbers. Their maturity period is at two years and therefore we expect that all should be fruiting later this year. They have also intercropped seasonal beans with the fruit trees as they are yet to form big canopies to restrict ground farming. The beans will be used fully to supplement their feeding programme and are expected to be harvested in June 2021.

The school reopened for the second term this year on 11th May as the COVID-19 restrictions had been lifted allowing schools to re-open again.  We are looking forward to more engagement and witnessing a major success for the income generating activity projects in the school. The feeding programme for the lunches and the physiotherapy support will continue in this term with an agreed phase off by the end of July when the schools will be ending the second term.

On behalf of the children, teachers and everyone at Raising Futures Kenya, thank you for your kind support which is enabling these two schools to become more sustainable and self reliant.

Posho mill to generate income for the school
Posho mill to generate income for the school
Fruit trees growing well
Fruit trees growing well
Beans will be ready in June
Beans will be ready in June
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Gideon and Yvonne during the assessment
Gideon and Yvonne during the assessment

The special educational needs programme had suspended most of the school activities in the last 9 months of 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kirunguru special school had closed indefinitely as all learners had gone home, while Percy Davies had 2 young learners who stayed when the rest of the children are taken away by their parents as they have no families of their own. Through your generous giving, Raising Futures Kenya was able to continue to support the school in order to provide specialist care not only to Jedidah and Livingstone but also two vulnerable families who couldn’t afford food, due to the effect of the pandemic.

The good news is that schools in Kenya were all allowed to re-open from January 4th so students have been returning over the last few weeks. Two weeks after school reopening, the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) conducted a school-based assessment to assess the learning gaps caused by the prolonged closure of schools due to COVID-19. A selected number of learners from the two special schools participated in the assessment. These learners are in the intermediate class as they have the ability to reason, follow instructions and perform activities of daily living. 

All staff from the two special schools attended a one-day training course on COVID-19 protocols and prevention measures to safeguard the children under their specialist care. The schools have taken all precautionary measures following the guidelines from health and education ministries to ensure that the children will remain safe and healthy throughout the school term.

Both schools have been working on income generating projects to enable them to earn sustainable income and reduce the dependency on external funding for the growth and development of the schools. Kirunguru had planted maize and fruit seedlings on the school farm which was cared for by the support staff throughout the long school break. At Percy Davies, the school had planted mango and orange fruit seedlings which are doing so well. Percy Davies school is now preparing to plant tomatoes and kales in their new greenhouse. According to the head teacher, the funding from Raising Futures Kenya has enabled the school to purchase all the necessary tools and equipment needed in order to start greenhouse farming. They are expecting to go through a training session with an agronomist from the ministry of agriculture on how to tend to vegetables in the greenhouse. Once the vegetables are ready, the school will be able to sell to the local community but also supplement their feeding programme hence provide nutritious meals to the children. 

Apart from the farming, the school received funding in December to purchase a posho mill that will be used to grind maize, sorghum and millet to flour. The maize and porridge flours from the posho mill will be sold to the local people in the community, learning institutions and retail businesses. This will also reduce the expenses for the school as they will now be able to mill flour for their own consumption. The posho mill project also received a boost from a Rotary Club that will oversee the construction of a structure where maize milling will be carried out after the machine is installed.

Raising Futures Kenya is grateful for the generous giving towards the specialist care programme for children with disability. Thank you so much for continued support as we believe that children with special needs have the right to live happily, thrive and reach their potential.

Learners at Kirunguru washing their hands
Learners at Kirunguru washing their hands
Collins
Collins
Huge fruit on a tiny mango tree at Percy Davies!
Huge fruit on a tiny mango tree at Percy Davies!
Manure ready for planting in the greenhouse
Manure ready for planting in the greenhouse
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Empty classrooms since March
Empty classrooms since March

Hello,

The last seven month have been the most difficult period of all times due to the outbreak of Covid-19. All learning institutions remain closed.  For the two special schools supported by Raising Futures Kenya, minimum activities have been happening around the schools since March.  Although the government is planning on reopening the schools, the final decision will be announced by the president after holding a national conference on the Covid-19 pandemic, after which he will unveil the containment measures that will guide Kenya into the new normal.  Although children have been out of school much longer than normal recess, many parents are not yet ready to allow their children back to school for fear of contracting the virus as the curve is not yet flattened hence there will be a lot of confusion in the next few months before the dust settles. In addition, vast numbers of parents lost their jobs and therefore they may not afford school fees, uniforms and other requirements to take their children back to school.

Unfortunately, children with special needs are the most vulnerable in the community as they are entirely dependent on caregivers to provide care and support hence, they are most likely to remain at home when schools open.  The two special education schools we work with, Kirunguru and Percy Davies, are making thorough preparations ready to receive the children back, but this will only happen once they get approval having put all measures in place according to the guidelines provided by the ministry of health. This is a tall order for the school management and the staff team but we know that they will do everything possible to safeguard the wellbeing of all children.

During these difficult and uncertain times of the pandemic, a few cases of children with special needs were brought to our attention by teachers at Percy Davies school: one being of a young boy by the name David who would run away from home very early in the morning to go and beg for food on the streets few kilometres from his home as his mother could not afford to provide meals.  One of his teachers was informed by a concerned lady and David and his family were added to our Emergency Support Programme, giving them a monthly allowance for food, hygiene and emergency supplied.  His mother has now been able to buy food and urgent supplies and this has kept David at home protecting him from contracting the coronavirus.  

Apart from David, the teacher also identified a young girl named Eunice who was once rescued by well-wishers having been neglected and locked up in the house for a long period of time.  Eunice is 14 years and now lives with her mother and 3 siblings. Eunice's mother is a single parent coping with her own mental health needs.  Eunice is physically disabled and has been diagnosed with autism after being assessed and placed at Percy Davies school.  The pandemic has hit the family badly as the mother could not afford proper meals for Eunice and her siblings since losing her income.  Raising Futures Kenya learnt about the sad state of Eunice’s family from one of her teachers and through the Covid-19 Emergency Support Programme, the family has continued to receive food and essentials monthly.  

According to Mr. Mwangi the school head teacher, the two families have greatly appreciated the charitable support.  Every month one of the teachers accompanies David’s mother and Eunice and her mother to a nearby town to do some shopping for food and other essentials that would last them for a month.

Thank you so much for your continued support and allowing Raising Futures Kenya to stand with vulnerable families helping them to raise above their challenges during the most difficult period of our lifetime.  We can’t thank you enough for your generous giving towards the children with disabilities who are in need of special education and care to reach their full potential.

Teacher food shopping with the families
Teacher food shopping with the families
Eunice and her mother getting their shopping
Eunice and her mother getting their shopping
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The new keyboard is very popular in the music room
The new keyboard is very popular in the music room

Hello,

This is such a strange and difficult time. Many of us are separated from our loved ones, dealing with the uncertainty of Covid-19 and the daily news updates can take its toll on our mental health, we hope you are coping ok. 

Vic and I, and our team in Kenya, want you to know that we're thinking about you. Your support during this challenging time has brought light at a time of darkness and we thank you for continuing to stand by us and these children.

As I’m sure you may expect, the schools in Kenya are closed meaning most of the children we support are at home with their families, two children who don't have any family have remained in school and are being cared for by two teachers. Many of the families we work with have also lost their only source of income due to restrictions in place to stop the spread of the virus. 

Thanks to your on-going support, and to our emergency response fund, we have been able to provide emergency support to several families who have lost their income and are struggling to provide for their children. We transferred emergency funds to them via mPesa transfer (a mobile phone currency) to adhere to social distancing rules. This enabled the families to buy a month’s supply of food, soap, hygiene products and cooking fuel. Some families were also at risk of being made homeless because they couldn't pay their rent so we have supported them with that too.

It is costing £30/$37 to provide a month of food and essentials for a family of 5 plus an additional £40/$49 for those who need rent support. It is a worrying time for all of the children and families but they know that we will stand by them now more than ever, thanks to the wonderful support of kind people like you - so we just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for enabling us to be there when we are needed the most.

Some lovely positive news is that when the children return to school they will be able to play on the new playground equipment we installed at the beginning of term and they'll be able to enjoy the new music room which includes a stereo to play music to the children and musical instruments including a keyboard which has been incredibly popular! Play and music equipment is so important for children with special educational needs, particularly the students who have autism as it gives them another sensory means of expressing themselves. We're hoping to provide even more equipment this year.

Work has started on constructing a learning laundry so the children can learn how to wash their clothes, preparing them for a more independent life after school.  We've also finished installing a large greenhouse at one of the schools which will enable them to grow crops which will supplement the breakfast, lunch and dinners for the students - helping to make the school more sustainable.

Thank you once again for standing by us. We hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and well.

With best wishes,

Kirsty Erridge - Director

kirsty@raisingfutureskenya.org.uk



A learning laundry for students
A learning laundry for students
The new greenhouse for growing crops
The new greenhouse for growing crops
Head teacher showing some of playground equipment
Head teacher showing some of playground equipment
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Here's Vincent in his classroom
Here's Vincent in his classroom

Vincent, who is now 12 years old, joined Percy Davies School in 2017 after his parents got frustrated with the school he was enrolled in as he had made very little progress.  Vincent is autistic and has echolaria which makes it very difficult for him to communicate and, understandably, makes him frustrated.  His inability to communicate initially meant that he was isolated and unable to socialise with his class peers.  Little by little Vincent started getting used to the school routine and adapted very well.  During bright days, Vincent used to hum some melodies.  After listening carefully, the teachers realized that they were the popular lyrics being played on local radio stations thus they found a way to keep him calm by singing along with him when he felt frustrated and were able to bond with him.

Vincent has become very confident and leads the class out for break and meal time, he likes helping the teachers (including pointing out when other students are misbehaving!).  He has acquired good fine and motor skills, is a budding photographer and is very organized.  He has shown a lot of interest in IT (information technology) and is enjoying taking part in training on how to use tablets provided by the government in the school.  Teacher Sarah said that they are all very pleased to see this progress in him.  We wish Vincent and the other students all the best as they get to learn the new curriculum with the evolving technology. 

The two schools have qualified and dedicated teachers who go out of their way to ensure that each student is able to thrive in their own different ability and fulfil their potential.  The lessons and facilities are tailored to providing for the special educational needs of each child. 

The past month has been busy at both schools with students returning for the new school year and new students joining them.  During the school holidays we made significant improvements to the accessibility for students with mobility limitations at Kirunguru School.  The site is very hilly so the new ramps will enable students to get around easier, particularly in the rainy season.  Next week new musical instruments will be delivered which will allow the students, many of whom have communication difficulties, an opportunity to express themselves.

In an effort to enable the schools to be more sustainable, we have planted more fruit tree seedlings in both schools to supplement the student’s lunches.  Percy Davies School are also installing a greenhouse this week to grow vegetables in.  Any surplus harvest can be sold to the local community to generate some income for the school to pay for materials.  

All of this would not have been possible without your continuous support and on behalf of Kirunguru and Percy Davies special schools, I would like to thank you for generous support towards Specialist care for 200 children with disabilities (34184) 

Your giving has gone along way to ensure that we are able to provide holistic care and an equalized education opportunity for children with disability and give them a voice in society, thank you.

Here's Vincent using the new tablet
Here's Vincent using the new tablet
New ramps at Kirunguru
New ramps at Kirunguru
More ramps at Kirunguru
More ramps at Kirunguru
Mary, Director of Operations, is planting trees
Mary, Director of Operations, is planting trees
Fruit trees ready for planting
Fruit trees ready for planting
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Organization Information

Raising Futures Kenya

Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @raisingfutures
Project Leader:
Mary Mwangi
Nairobi, Nairobi Kenya
$7,917 raised of $35,000 goal
 
25 donations
$27,083 to go
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Pay Bill: 891300
Account: GG34184

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