Our main project is Makobe School for the disabled which started in 2002. A young teacher working in a school for disabled children in Mombasa came to know about the situation at Makobe a few years ago and gave up her job to start a school at the village. She was allocated a small room by the local chief to start the project. A study was done to establish the number of children living with disabilities in the area, the result was overwhelming and action had to be taken.
The target group are disabled children/young people who until now cannot access education. Long distances and rough areas, insecurity, wild animals, rivers make it impossible for disabled children to reach school everyday and need a place to sleep in the school compound. The target group was discovered via home visits and awareness programs on disability in the area. This made it clear there are many children/young people with a disability who have been unable to go to school or even been hidden in their homes.
The projects mission is to nurture and equip the disabled persons with correct living skills, knowledge and attitude
that will enable them to live a normal life in the society. The main objective is to enable disabled children and young people
to attend school and acquire basic learning skills.
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So far we have made the following accomplishments; completed construction of the first dormitory for girls which was funded by GoAfricaSafaris & Travel and a workshop, funded by Kwale handicapped foundation. However, the need to further develop and build more facilities is crucial as there are over 50 children on the waiting list, who are currently at home as they cannot reach school. Some of these facilities include; more classrooms, a dormitory for boys, kitchen and store, 3 water systems installed in three villages and a rural health clinic built and equipped.
The legal owners of all the assets (land, buildings and equipment) acquired by this project will be the local community. The staff of the school and the board is responsible for managing the school. Some parents are members of the board of directors. The board meets every 3 months and its role is: support, evaluation, awareness campaign and management. The ministry of education offers training for teachers dealing with disabled children. There is an exchange program with special needs teachers from the Netherlands.
Related millennium development goals for the project include; eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women. Some running costs are covered by the local government and able parents who make a contribution. However, since majority of the children come from very poor families, the management has found it necessary to allow the children to bring to school whatever foodstuffs their parents are growing in their farms that can be used in the school. In addition to this, the school plans to start some self help projects like chicken farm, vegetable garden to reduce monthly running costs and to teach the children to fend themselves.