Wanjiru Kanuri

Director, Matasia Special Needs Centre (MSNC)

Akili Dada Fellow, 2014

I set up Matasia Special Needs Centre (MSNC) having come from a family with persons with disability. I witnessed firsthand the difficulties parents can have raising these children. Lack of services, high cost of therapy, lack of inclusion and poverty has led to poor mental and social health in children with disabilities. And, most of the children are being confined indoors, further impeding their development.

MSNC caters to children and youth with cerebral palsy, down syndrome, spina bifida, autism and other neurological conditions enabling them live healthy and dignified lives.

One of our beneficiaries is a lovely boy called Edwin who is 14 years old and suffers from spina bifida. Before Edwin joined us, he was out of school because there were no schools in the Matasia area willing to admit him because of his disability. As such he kept to himself barely developing his social skills. Since joining MSNC, we have provided him with basic necessities such as diapers, enrolled him into our literacy classes, along with teaching him bead work.  These among other programs, have improved his physical wellness and social interactions. In fact, next term, Edwin will be joining one of the special needs schools in Nairobi.

It is exciting to see the positive impact that MSNC has brought to Edwin’s life and lives of other young people with disabilities that we work with.

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