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SEP Kenya Newsletter 03/2016
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Dear Sir/Madam,
We have the privilege to send you today the first edition of the relaunched SEP newsletter.  We hope you appreciate its new design, its instant appearance in your mail app and the links to further facts.  Nevertheless, beside form, our intention with the newsletter remains unchanged: keep you up to date about SEP's new and ongoing activities aiming at strengthening children with disabilities, their families, their caregivers, and professionals.
The third newsletter of this year dwells on the second journey of the Walking Autism project, a one month walk around Mount Kenya by Abby Brooke, that took place during September.  SEP is a support partner of this project and joined Abby for talks in different towns.  Beside awareness creation, SEP was busy with its ongoing projects, such as siblings workshops, Wezesha parents trainings, a new edition of Dance for Youth, and early intervention consultation days at Nyamira and Kitui.
We wish you a pleasant reading.
Kind regards

Karolien Remmerie
Director

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Walking Autism, journey 2: Mt. Kenya walk, 1st28th Sept.


The second journey of Abby Brooke's Walking Autism project ended successfully September 28th, after a four weeks walk around Mount Kenya.  Abby, escorted by three camels and two guides, left Nanyuki September 1st, reaching on her way the towns of Meru, Embu and Nyeri.

Autism specialists of SEP and Autism Awareness Kenya joined Abby for talks organised in collaboration with the local EARC's Educational Assessment Resource Centers and the Ministry of Health.  All of them were attended by around 50 persons most of them teachers and parents.  In her short speeches, Abby shared her personal experience as a person living with autism.  What she expressed gave evidence to the audience on what a person living with autism feels and experiences every day.  It was a series of powerful statements that merged with the specialists talks on the state of the art in autism research and therapy.

Abby's Walking Autism project is an ongoing awareness creation project.  Launched in 2014, more walks across Kenya and other African countries will follow.

Together with Autism Awareness Kenya, SEP is one of the supporting partners of Walking Autism.

www.walkingautism.org

 

Siblings Workshops, August 2016

SEP organized the second edition of Siblings Workshops in August 2016 for our three partner projects: Songa Mbele na Masomo in Mukuru; Child Doctor in Mimosa; and Comboni Health Project in Kariobangi.
The workshops were a follow up of the Siblings Workshops held in April 2016 in the same projects.  In the first workshop we received positive feedback from the parents and staff of the partner organisations.  However the follow up workshops needed some fine tuning in order to achieve maximum results.  A number of changes were made that helped improve not just the facilitation but the long term impact of the sibling’s workshops including:
  • Several meetings with the facilitators for planning and evaluation of the workshops.
  • Grouping the children according to their age in order to achieve the objectives.
  • Increase in the number of facilitators for effective facilitation of the different age groups.
  • Use of a clown to get feedback from the siblings at the end of the day, which was very effective.
The final workshop in the series is now scheduled for end of November 2016 in the same projects.  We are currently brainstorming on ways to ensure more sustainability after the workshops.

Finally, by SEP adopting this family centred approach to intervention, through capacity building and psychosocial support of all the family members, we believe that the Siblings Workshops contribute substantially to SEP's vision of “a Kenya and a world where every child, regardless of special needs, has the chance to reach their fullest potential in life”.



 

Wezesha Parents Training

SEP organized two other  “Wezesha” trainings for parents and community health workers of children with disabilities, from Narok County, on 25th—29th July 2016 and from Nakuru County, on 10th—14th October at the PCEA Kikuyu Hospital Orthopaedic Guest House.
 
The Wezesha training is aimed at sharing information and improving the participants skills in taking care of children with disabilities. They were also trained to be peer educators so as to pass on skills learnt to other parents in their community.
 
SEP will conduct follow-up visits to monitor and evaluate successes made after the training.
  
All participants were issued with educational documentation such as SEP's Wezesha training manual, developmental milestones wheel and brochures on different conditions.




 

Dance for Youth

SEP organized the final edition 2016 of the  “Dance for Youth with Special Needs”, in partnership with Sarakasi Trust at the Sarakasi Dome on 30th September 2016.   The event was organized to create an avenue where youth with disabilities can relax, have fun and dance in a safe environment supported by their loved ones, caregivers and therapists.  A total of 25 youth from 4 different schools attended the lively event.


The event was aired on TV, KBC Channel 15th October 2016 on the programme "Differently Abled".



 

Early Intervention Consultations

There are four main reasons to consider an early intervention programme:

  • It enhances child development.
  • It assists parents and siblings, helping them deal with feelings of stress or helplessness, while learning to maintain a positive attitude . 
  • It increases the developmental and educational gains for the child. 
  • Finally, children with early interventions need less services later in life, and offer more long-term benefits for society.

Since 1998, SEP organizes Early Intervention Consultations that are designed to quell anxiety by providing resources and solutions to help new parents and their babies.  In 2012 SEP decided to take the consultation services to rural areas, mainly because families in rural areas live in abject poverty, and resources are normally geared towards their basic needs.  The professional services available in rural areas are also scarce and families are forced to walk many kilometers before accessing them.

On 12th August, SEP went to Nyamira county and was hosted by the Nyamira county government for an early intervention consultation.  A total of 199 children attended the consultation. 

On 17th September, SEP went to Kitui county and was hosted by Migwani Special School.  A total of 29 children attended this consultation.

During the two consultations, the SEP team of therapists gave information to the parents, caregivers and teachers to help them to better understand the condition of their child and gave advice on how to deal with the challenges at school and at home.


Our next external early intervention consultation will take place in Kilifi County on 10th and 11th November at the Mbazizo for the Disabled Community Based Organisation.

"A treatment method or an educational method that will work for one child may not work for another child. The one common denominator for all of the young children is that early intervention does work, and it seems to improve the prognosis." Temple Grandin
 
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