“In the donor field for special needs Vision Africa is the biggest supporter in the district” (Representative of the District Education Office, Maragua District)
This is an area of our work in which we can justifiably be proud. Vision Africa has provided funding to facilitate the opening of two schools, Kirunguru School in Kandara District and Percy Davies School in Kambiti, offering specialist education. We continue to provide support as a major donor to both schools, allowing them to provide residential care at both schools, nurturing physical, social, emotional and behavioural development.
The impact of these schools on the community has been tremendous. In many Kenyan communities, disabled children are branded a curse on a family and hidden from public view. Through the work of the dedicated staff at our partner schools, the children are more accepted, participating in sporting activities and performing at community events. At Kirunguru Special School the community involvement has included training and work attachments for students learning vocational skills. This has resulted in former pupils living independently or contributing to their families.
Both Kirunguru and Percy Davies Special Schools have close links with local primary schools and work to have children integrated into mainstream education where that is a suitable option. For those who are unable to join mainstream schools, we are working to develop a comprehensive programme that will help transition older children into adulthood and independent living where possible. We are also seeking to expand our support in the area of special needs to include reaching out to infants with special needs for early intervention and offering therapy services to the community through the therapy room that we opened at Percy Davies School in 2012.
In all the work that we support with children with special needs there is one over-riding goal – to give them the opportunity to reach their potential.