Blog written by Sherry Waweru – Senior Programmes Officer, Raising Futures Kenya
The month of May begun with lots of activities at Kirunguru and Percy Davies special schools as parents brought back their children for the second term after a one month recess. Apart from the daily lessons and physical therapies, both special schools engage their learners in extracurricular activities which have enabled them participate in the county and regional interschool competitions. This has positively impacted the learners as it has built their confidence and self-esteem, instilled discipline and enabled them to celebrate their abilities as they interact with other children and young people from different regions across Kenya. This experience also helps them feel appreciated, have sense of pride for their school.
According to Mr. Juma from Kirunguru special school, the leaners who participate in school games, scouts and music festivals and other out of school activities have enhanced their abilities to follow instructions, build trust and improve in life skills as they perform tasks with little supervision. While teacher Sarah from Percy Davies says that the learners’ confidence is high, they get excited going out of school as it breaks monotony being in the classroom, they exhibit leadership skills and discipline since they would not want to miss out the next competition. She also says that this has encouraged learners who lack of speech to find ways of narrating their stories to other learners and teachers.
In term two, the leaners are expected to participate in ball games scouting and music festivals and it is our desire to see more learners participate so that they all get the opportunity to enjoy and interact with other people Your support has enabled us to purchase some additional therapy equipment and source the services of a professional physiotherapist from a county hospital who visits the schools twice a month. Having fully equipped therapy rooms and the services from therapist have transformed the lives of the learners and other children with disability from the community. Peter, a learner from Kirunguru, has gained the confidence to stand on his own for the first time and make few steps after just a few sessions of mobility therapy. This has motivated his peers to have more interest in joining physiotherapy sessions.
Lilian joined Percy Davies special school at the age of 10. She had transferred from another institution after her parents got frustrated since they had not seen improvement from the time she was enrolled in that school. Luckily, they were advised by a parent from Percy Davies special school to try the institution and see whether a change of school with qualified teachers and holistic care will impact their child. When Lilian was enrolled, she had not developed fine motor skills but through physiotherapy sessions, she is now able to do pre-vocational skills like plaiting hair and beadwork. She can also draw different shapes and colouring them nicely, follow instructions in simple languages in English and Kiswahili. This has bought so much joy into Lilian’s family as there has been significant improvement as she can now perform simple tasks like assisting in house hold chores but most importantly, she is independent in performing activities of daily living (ADL) with little or no supervision.
We would not be celebrating these milestones if you did not come along to support our programme. Thank you for your continuous support towards this specialist care for 200 children with disabilities as it is through your generous giving that children like Peter and Lilian have the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential.