We arrive at Malika Kids just in time to watch them sing and dance. Afterwards, the kids are split into two groups and we divide ourselves amongst them. We mould play-doh, do jigsaw puzzles and colour. Each child is unique in their own way and I’m amazed by how they interact with one another. Tabitha is unable to talk, but she communicates by clapping her hands, giggling and making faces. Quentin falls in love with Abbey, who insists on making play-doh bracelets in every colour for him. Abbey has only one arm, and that disability alone is enough to prevent her from being admitted to a government-funded school, such as Ngaya. If it weren’t for CTC’s Malaika Kids, many of these children wouldn’t be able to attend school, or they’d be forced to travel to Nairobi to attend a special school for the disabled. And many of these schools are under-funded and under-staffed.
At Malaika Kids, the teachers have been trained to work with children with special needs. They also tailor each child’s learning to their specific needs. As a child with Down Syndrome, George was aggressive and violent when he first arrived to the Malaika program. But now, he laughs plays and is affectionate towards the other children, especially Ruth, whom he adores.
Today, we were able to see the results firsthand of a CTC program. All of the children have improved drastically since attending the school, and each one is cared for and loved by the staff. The nine of us decide that we want to donate the rest of our project contribution towards the Malaika Program by hiring a physiotherapist for the children. This way, we’re certain that we’re contributing towards something sustainable for the community.