Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Orione Community Training Centre (OCTC): From Kaburugi to Kandisi

I.        Disabilities in Kenya:
 ·      Disability in Kenya is often seen as burdensome and shameful. Many of the tribal beliefs consider it something strange related to witchcraft, a curse from ancestors o a divine punishment.  

I.I. The numbers
 According to the World Health Organization WHO, persons with disabilities in developing countries such as Kenya, account for 15% of the total population of the country. In that 15% of the population, a full 75% have developmental disabilities.
Of these 3.6 million Kenyans with developmental disabilities, half of 1% have access to health care and rehabilitation services.
Only 23,000 students (between the ages of 10 to 30) have access to education, en the 1,200 schools and special facilities for persons with developmental disabilities in the country. The 48 small residential homes and private schools provide care for only 438 persons.

I.II. Causes

 56% of the population of Kenya actually lives under the poverty line, that is to say, with income less than one dollar a day. This translates into hunger, malnutrition, difficulty accessing the basic services necessary for good health such as clean water, etc. These are the principal causes of mental impairment. The consequence is, that in Kenya, the population of persons with developmental disabilities increases day to day.  Deprivation affecting the health of the mother and the child is one of the principal causes of developmental disabilities in Kenya.  With a population of 39,802,015 million, it is estimated that the number of persons with disabilities to be 5 million (15%) of which 60%, that is, 3.6 million have developmental disabilities.

I.III. Vulnerability
This highlights the sad plight of more than 3.6 million persons with developmental disabilities who are rejected both by their parents and the extended family, and abandoned to live in subhuman and abusive environments. The majority of the 3.6 million are orphans or vulnerable because of the high rate of divorce and separation of the parents. To a large degree HIV/AIDS affects those with developmental disabilities who are vulnerable to rape, incest, and other exploitative and sexual abuse.
Their rights are not recognized and even their access to providing for their most basic needs depends wholly on the support of a third party.

In 2005 it was discovered that in the parish and surrounding areas, there were more than 40 families with children and youths who were developmentally disabled. The Sons of Divine Providence, a religious congregation that serves this parish, in adherence with its founder’s charisma, decides to build a centre for these persons who live in the most humble of conditions.
The Center starts using the dependencies of the parish with a group of 15 children. It was not possible to serve the rest as the families as they lived too far from the centre.
The creation of the Centre has always had as its objective to spread the message to the local and national community of the inherent “dignity” all human life possesses and the need to respect that right.

IV. How do we serve?
…In three areas….

1. Education:
 Qualified staff and specialized programs provide children and youth the skills, capability, and knowledge to enable them to live with dignity. Moreover, education of parents, relatives and community to facilitate the process of integration and inclusion of the children and youth in their social community.

2. Rehabilitation:
Multi-sensory room and a physical therapist provide physical rehabilitation and sensorial stimulation, providing the children and youth the opportunity for integrated intervention. This type of sensory integration interventions is not common in Kenya as there is a lack of technical resources and lack of knowledge regarding the benefits.

3. Job: Work Providing:
One of the main challenges for people with special needs is to get a Job.  We are implementing a work system related to their social environment.  We  believed that a  Farming project  would  be  a  good  alternative  as a  source  of income  and  provided independence.
The  community  support and  the  involvement  of  the  parents   is  vital  for  the  success of  this  project.

V. The Coordination Team of OCTC Kaburugi:

        One Director general
        One Academic Director
     Five Special education teachers               
        Two persons in charge of food services 
        One driver
        One travel assistant
        One Social Worker
        One Nurse
        One Physiotherapist
         One Occupational Therapist 
         One Agricultural trainer
         One  Assistant to Agricultural trainer

Why is it necessary?
The religious congregation Sons of Divine Providence also has a presence in Kandisi, District of Ngong, Division Ongata Rongai located about 30 km. Nairobi. On Dec. 3, an invitation was sent to all families in this location and its surrounding areas who had a family member with developmental disability so we could have record of the cases and conditions. The result was…. more than 100 families, the majority of whom are from the rural area and small hamlets living in extreme poverty.

VII. What do we have to start with?

1.    Experience.  The Sons of Divine Providence have centers serving the same population in diverse countries and continents.  In Kenya, a centre was established and has been in operation for more than 6 years. In August of 2011, the centre was distinguished by the award of a “Certificate of Best Practices” by Kenya Society for the Mentally Handicapped.

2.    Land. Some years ago and with the help of persons of good will, a plot of land of about 5 hectares was purchased with the goal of building a centre that would harbor persons with developmental disabilities as this work is part of our mission.

3.    Community. The local community has become aware of the presence of these persons who are in need of support. Different community groups have organized periodic visits to the families to collect information and involve them in the development of this project. At the moment, each family has a file with the necessary information. In addition, an advisory committee of 5 community leasers has been formed to initiate the necessary steps.

4.    Professionals. All the professionals from our previous project are available to ensure the successful startup of the new centre.

5.    Local Entities. Different entities that have worked with us in the previous project such as banks, supermarkets, civic associations, business enterprises have offered their continued support for this new project as they deem it to be most needed.

In a lengthy meeting with the parents, their input as to what they most needed to better the quality of life of their children. Their answers incorporated the following areas:
·   Lack of specialized schools in the area, so that many of these children and youth remain at home without access to education
·   There are no rehabilitation centers that would allow this population access to any type of therapy that might better the quality of life and allow them to develop more independence.
·   Severe malnutrition problems among this population, especially those affected by cerebral palsy.
·   20% of the registered persons, are older than 18 and do not have any activity or work that would allow them to earn a income. This increases the level of poverty of the family.

·    A SPECIAL SCHOOL  - with a team of qualified professionals, special education to fulfill the need for instruction for the students and to empower the parents by giving them tools.
·    REHABILITATION CENTER - with equipment, in addition to a physical therapist, nurse, occupational therapist to provide interdisciplinary rehabilitation.
·    NUTRITIONAL PLAN - provide two meals a day to the students who attend the centre: a mid-morning snack and lunch before the students go home.
·   IMPLEMENTATION OF AN AGRICULTURAL PROJECT - will include a greenhouse and outdoor plots. This has tri-fold goals: 1. To provide the Centre with vegetables 2. Provide work to those who are of age 3. Provide income to help make the Centre self-supporting.

Here are the estimations for the new project:

Your Support and help for this new project in Kandisi will be very much appreciated.

                                                                                                            Contact us here: 

Orione Community of Kandisi (OCTC-Kandisi)
Rimpa Road, off Magadi Road
P.o.Box. 409 -00206- Kiserian - Kenya
Fr. Alejandro Ruiz : +254722332339

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