Special Needs Program
‘Treasures In Jars of Clay’ aims to bring glory to God as we:
- Promote a biblical view of disability and suffering both around KCC and in the surrounding communities.
- To care for individuals with physical and/or learning difficulties, equipping them with life skills and enabling them to reach their God-given potential.
- To provide education and support for families affected by disability in the local community.
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 Special Needs Programme began in 2009 when Kate Tolhurst (a special needs teacher from the UK) went to work at Kasana Children`s Centre primarily to care for Hassan who had come to New Hope when he was just 5 months old. When locals heard about how Hassan was being cared for, they began to bring their disabled children to visit and this developed into a regular ‘community session’ once per month at Hassan`s House.
The programme has recently been given the name ‘Treasures In Jars of Clay’ as we believe strongly and want others to see that although each and every one of us is weak and broken (physically, emotionally and spiritually,) we also ALL have treasure inside us; unique potential that God has planted in us to bring glory to his name.
The programme consists of:
(a) A home (Hassan`s House) for people with disabilities .
This is located in one of the family groups at Kasana. We now have 5 permanent residents and 1 term time boarder. We also have another child living with a staff member as we fundraise to extend our residential facilities.
(b) The ‘Treasures’ Class which is part of EEVPS (the main primary school.)
We currently have 12 students in our class which runs from Monday to Thursday. The students who have varying degrees of physical / learning disabilities are taught basic literacy and numeracy as well as life and vocational skills. Those who need it receive regular physiotherapy and all of the children benefit from a nutritious diet. We also support 2 children in attending the mainstream school and another child who attends Luwero School for the Deaf.
(c) A Community Outreach programme which aims to support and educate families affected by disability.
Since we began we have registered over 100 children who have a wide range of disabilities including Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy, Hearing / Visual Impairments, Apert`s Syndrome, Downs Syndrome. We hold community sessions for these children once a month and provide free physiotherapy and treatment in our clinic for those who need it as well as education and support for the parents/ carers. We also visit these children at home and are in the process of providing them with wheelchairs and specialist equipment. In 2014 we began partnering with local churches to reach out to people affected by disabilities in their communities.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
It is possible to either sign up to sponsor the programme as a whole (any amount) or to sponsor one of the children in our class specifically. With both options you will receive a regular e-newsletter 6 times per year. If you choose to sponsor an individual you will also receive 4 emails per year to tell you how your child is doing (including photos,) along with Easter and Christmas cards from your child. We encourage those who choose to sponsor a child in the special needs class to write letters and photos when possible which will be
read / shown to the child and given to their parents / care-givers to keep.
Due to the medical and care needs of the special needs children, each child requires multiple sponsors.
Money given to ‘Treasures in Jars of Clay’ goes towards the running costs of Hassan`s House, the Treasures Class, Medical costs and providing specialist equipment for the children on our community programme.
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.