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SEP Kenya Newsletter 04/2016
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Dear Sir/Madam,
Kindly receive our last newsletter of this year. December 3rd was the UN International Day of Persons with disabilities. The SEP's fathers group organised for this years edition a Fathers Fun Day. Fathers with children with disabilities met at Songa Mbele na Masomo in order to share their experiences and have a day with their children in a welcoming environment. In Kenyan society it is still exceptional to see fathers taking care of their children; this is even emphasized with children living with a disability. The SEP's fathers group brings together fathers who are willing to break up with this tradition.
As usual, this end of the year has been a very busy period for SEP. In November the workshop for the future SEP interns took place. We look forward to welcome these new members in our regular projects starting from next year.
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Karolien Remmerie
Director

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Disability and Inclusion Awareness


SEP in conjunction with Child Doctor in Mimosa, organized a Disability and Inclusion Awareness Day for children with disabilities on 18th November 2016.

The awareness event was organised for families with a child with a disability, with the aim of: Fighting stigma by creating awareness on disability; Sensitizing the community on various disabilities and available interventions; and Enabling parents by providing a forum for them to seek clarification on the condition of their child.

Inclusive education is a challenge as most parents do not see the cognitive capability of their child once labeled with a disability. Most schools are also not open for inclusion and are reluctant to take in children with disabilities. SEP has been on a mission to promote inclusive education as one of its goals both through working with the children and their parents to show the importance for education, and through visiting regular schools offering training and support to teachers. We have so far partnered with a few schools in different areas in Nairobi where we have our projects to promote inclusive education and where a number of children have been placed.

At the disability event, there was a session on acceptance, followed by talks on the importance of education and inclusion.

The local area chief and representative from the Ministry of Education (Special Education Department) also attended the event and they were able to: Provide more information about what the government is doing to help children with disability; Brainstorm on ways we can work together towards the promotion of inclusive education; Answer some of the questions from the community that is government oriented and Inform the community of the services that are available in the government that can help their children with special needs.

This event was the second disability and awareness event organised by SEP in 2016. Plans are now underway for another disability and awareness event which will take place at Comboni Health in Kariobangi in 2017.


 

Trans-Disciplinary Training for New Interns


The trans-disciplinary approach is a framework for allowing members of an educational and therapy team to contribute knowledge and skills, collaborate with other members, and collectively determine the services that most would benefit a child. This approach integrates a child's developmental needs across the major developmental domains and involves a greater degree of collaboration than others.
Trans-disciplinary approach can successfully be used in Kenya to overcome manpower shortage especially in some fields e.g. speech therapy.  Within this model, members of various professional disciplines work together at all levels. Family members are also active participants rather than passive recipients of information and intervention.
 
It is in this regard that every year, SEP organizes practical trans-disciplinary training services, with the aim of improving knowledge, skills and abilities, emphasizing equal partnership with the parents, and building on a child-centered approach.
 
SEP organized a two weeks training held in November 2016 for five physiotherapists, six occupational therapists and four special needs teachers all newly recruited intern members of the organization.
Topics covered in the training included: assessments; functional goal setting; CP classification; handling and positioning; passive techniques; stretching; adapted therapy equipment design; case studies; feeding; play; autism; communication; behavior modification; and sensory integration.
Some of the interns will now be allocated to various projects in the slums of Nairobi to gain more practical experience under the supervision of full members.

 

Fathers Fun Day on International Day of Persons With Disabilities


SEP celebrated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 2016, by organising a fun day for the fathers and their children. The event took place at Songa Mbele na Masomo in South B and was attended by 23 fathers together with their children. The event targeted fathers whose children attend therapy in the SEP partner organisations. The goal of the event was to create awareness among the fathers on the importance of the support group in order to encourage more fathers to join the group, to be able to engage fathers in the interventions and to have an opportunity to connect with their children. The fathers took part in the following activities: sharing of experiences; play sessions with children; and speech on the role of dads.
 
Most of the fathers gave positive feedback about the day. The opportunity to form connections with other fathers, in a group involving only men, was overwhelmingly the aspect of the program most valued by fathers.  
 
The fathers expressed relief that other fathers were experiencing similar reactions and feelings, despite their children having very different abilities or conditions. Some fathers mentioned that they had a time to bond with their children. Others reported that they appreciate what the mothers do and have respect for them especially those who were feeding and changing diapers for the children during the fun day.
 
With its attendance of more than 20 fathers and almost as many children, the day was a success both for the fathers and for SEP. The involvement of fathers in such support groups is a new idea that will need some time for the fathers to adjust to. There is still need for awareness creation among fathers of children with disabilities to have them involved in the lives of their children.

 
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