Special Needs Program

MISSION:

To demonstrate our Father God`s unconditional love for all as we care for children and adults with both physical and/or learning disabilities.

GOALS:

  • To promote a biblical view of disability and suffering both within Kasana Children`s Centre and in the surrounding communities.
  • To equip individuals who have disabilities with basic life skills and all that they need in order to fulfil their God given potential.
  • To provide support and education to families affected by disability.

OVERVIEW:

Here at Kasana Children`s Centre, we believe that God values and has a purpose for each and every person he creates, no matter what their ability. At the beginning of 2011 our Special Needs Program officially began as we opened a class in the primary school for children with both physical and learning difficulties.

The children currently attend the class 3 days a week but next term we hope to make this 4 days; Fridays will continue to be left open for home and hospital visits and our monthly Community Outreach Sessions.

At present, in our class, we have 7 children; Ismaiel (15), Hassan (8), Kakulu (8), Ivan (8), Allen(8) Brian (5) and Nalubega (5). Kakande, a man with learning disabilities who lives within one of our family groups also attends the class and helps with jobs such as fetching water and keeping the compound tidy. Apart from Hassan who has lived at Kasana children`s centre since he was 7 months old, the children all live in local villages and are collected and returned home each day using our newly purchased van. The class teacher is currently Kate Tolhurst who trained as a special needs teacher in the UK and came to Kasana in 2009. We are planning to employ a Ugandan to work alongside her as soon as funds are in place, but for now we have two very good classroom assistants; Uncle Stephen and Auntie Jane.

In class, the children have lessons in basic literacy and numeracy as well as working on independent living skills. Once a week they enjoy an art/cookery lesson and they have a daily Physical Education session which for some of the children, involves completing a specific exercise programme prescribed for them by the Physiotherapist. As well as spending time as a class group, each student is also given the opportunity (at least once per week,) to spend time within a mainstream class, accompanied by one of our classroom assistants. So far, this has been a huge success not just for our children but for those in the classes they have visited.

We are so thankful to God, and to supporters who helped to build our own classroom on the main primary school site.

The Community Outreach sessions which we hold are open to people in the community whose lives have been affected by disability. At these sessions, disabled individuals and their families receive input from a physiotherapist and a chance to encourage and share struggles with one another over a good meal. We have also just started to invite a different speaker each month, sharing on topics such as ‘Feeding and Nutrition,’ ‘Epilepsy,’ and ‘Communication.’ We also intend to give opportunity to individuals with disabilities to share their story of how God has enabled them to live a full life.

We really believe that God is going to use this ministry to transform the way people in this area see people with disabilities and more importantly, how they view their Father God. All of us need reminding that God doesn`t love us because of who we are or what we can do; he is able to love us only because he sent his one and only son to die for us and to pay the price for our sins. In Christ, we are all holy, blameless and precious children of God.

How you can help:

Pray for us: if you would like to receive our programme newsletters to keep you informed of what we need prayer for then please email the programme coordinator Kate Tolhurst on specialneeds@newhopeuganda.org

Sponsor a child in our class or the programme as a whole: if you would like more information on how to do this then please take a look at the sponsorship section on our website and contact the sponsorship office on sponsors@newhopeuganda.org

Donate: if you would like to make a donation towards the running costs of the Special Needs Programme or towards the purchase of specialist equipment required by our children please do so via our website.

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