Posted by Chris WHELAN on Jul 23, 2021
APPLECROSS ROTARY, THE ROTARY CLUB OF KITENGELA and MAMA RESPOND International (a Perth based NFP) have joined forces to build what will be the only comprehensive toilet block for special needs students in Kitengela, Kenya (population 150,000). This will be at Noonkopir Township Primary School – a public school closely affiliated with Mama Respond.
Mama Respond has worked with Noonkopir Primary since 2013 when they mobilised parents, community members, church groups and international donors to address overcrowding. They built two new classrooms to halve the 130-student per classroom population in both the year five and six classrooms, thus enabling improved learning. These two buildings cost AUD 10,000. Mama Respond also established employment and educational sponsorships for several parents and children at the school. Mama Respond have since resurfaced several classroom floors at Noonkopir Primary, distributed Days for Girls Kits, run healthcare programs, and established more sponsorships for many children.
In 2017, Noonkopir Primary built the only special needs unit in Kitengela. It was soon overcrowded with intellectually and physically disabled students. Mama Respond started to take these children to hospitals for medical diagnoses, treatments, and medications, to improve their health for better education; again, mobilising local support to cover treatment costs. Three of the children treated that year returned to mainstream learning where they thrived unrestrained by a curable disability. This work has become Mama Respond's mandate.
The existing special needs unit does not match the extensive needs of the students. The unit is incompatible for students who are in a wheelchair. Students who are unable to walk or sit without aids spend their time laying on a mattress on the floor. The others are able to learn basic reading, writing, and other skills for everyday life.
The school toilets are not appropriate for the needs of these children. They must share the regular toilets (squat long drop pits) with the 1000 other students at Noonkopir Primary. Several students are incapable of using those toilets, and others require special assistance: an unsanitary situation and an undignified one too.
To resolve this, Mama Respond is working with Noonkopir Primary and the city community to build a comprehensive special needs unit for these students. The unit will comprise toilets, two classrooms, a kitchen, and an administration room. This will replace the unfit toilets and unsuitable rooms currently in use.
Applecross Rotary, Rotary Club of Kitengela and Mama Respond have taken the challenge to construct an appropriate toilet block; and to enable the disabled students to receive a medical diagnosis and possible treatment. This will require a Rotary Global Grant project of USD 30,000.
Applecross Rotary are the lead coordinator. The project needs to raise USD 12,000 from Australian sponsors. To date, we have pending pledges from five Rotary Clubs.
To get off the ground, we need pledges of another A$8000 (USD 6,000) from local Rotary Clubs.
We need your help.
Ken-ya support this project?
To find out more or to make a pledge, please contact:
Chris Whelan, Applecross Rotary, 0437 800 991
Erin Hegarty, Founding Director, Mama Respond, 0418 439 623