Children With Special Abilities
The Children with Special Abilities (CSA) department was formed to be the platform to uplift the stance of children with physical and/ or mental disabilities. According to the NCPWD there are over 1934 cases reported of children as well as adults with Special Abilities in Lunga-Lunga Sub-County. The conditions under which the children live are often harsh conditions, with extreme cases of parents completely shutting out the children from the outside world. This is due to lack of awareness towards proper care of children with special abilities and the shared belief that having a special ability child is a punishment from God. Many parents are ashamed of these children and choose to hide these children from society. The CSA department is therefore set up to instruct and guide over a 100 children and their families, in order to increase awareness alongside achieving the social and economic goals of each individual. The CSA department does this with the involvement of KidsCare’s stakeholders, who are simultaneously trained, so as to gain more awareness and expertise concerning children with special abilities.
Yes We Can
The Yes We Can Project was launched in December 2017 with the main focus being on children with mental disabilities. At the time KidsCare Kenya was working solely with children with physical disabilities. During this time KidsCare Kenya identified that there was a gap in the area for children with mental disabilities. It was clear that for these children, attention and help was at very low levels both from the community and in many cases from the caregivers. What really stood out was the treatment that many of these children were receiving. Many were locked up in houses, stigmatization was rampant, and these children were not receiving their basic human rights. Furthermore, poverty was a major factor in determining the lifestyle of many of these children. Most caregivers were very poor and lacked the basic necessity for providing these children with proper care. It was clear that there was a need for helping children with mental disabilities as well as their caregivers.
Currently, there are 63 children actively participating in the Yes We Can Project. The project consists of Home Visits guided by an Individual care plan for both children and caregivers. We set up Support Groups to share experiences, give mutual support, receive training and encourage economic activities. And, we hold regular Awareness meetings for the community to create acceptance for the children with disabilities. Assessments of a child is conducted by specialists from Association of the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK) and KidsCare.
The Occupational Therapy caters for children with physical disabilities. Currently, KidsCare has 75 children in the occupational therapy program. Therapy is offered three times a week at KidsCare’s facility. The occupational therapist also conducts home based therapy when there is need. During therapy parents are offered counseling (both in group and one-on-one) which is conducted by a social worker. The occupational therapist also conducts assessments and does referrals where necessary to other service providers e.g. APDK (Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya) in special cases like corrective surgery or for assitive devices or Msambweni hospital in case a child needs a physician’s attention. The occupational therapist also conducts referrals to Msambweni hospital in case a child needs a physician’s attention. KidsCare’s social workers plan and initiate awareness meeting in the Lunga-Lunga Sub-County location. The goal of these meeting is to reduce stigma and to create awareness on disabilities. Together with KidsCare’s stakeholders and other partners, KidsCare aims at bettering the life of children with special abilities in Lunga-Lunga Sub-County.
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KidsCare believes that by working together we can achieve a higher result. Therefore, KidsCare Kenya wants to cooperate with all organizations who share the vision and mission of KidsCare, to give children their basic right.
“We know that every life is precious, every life is priceless, and every life has something to offer. This is our unique perspective, our initiative, and we invite all to join us create a better and lasting future, for the children of tomorrow.” – KidsCare Kenya