Improving two special needs schools in rural Kenya

- Providing 145 disabled children with meals, physical therapy and better school days at the Kirunguru and Percy Davies Specialist Schools


Help Every Day has come together with Raising Futures Kenya, a UK chairty working to educate and train Kenya's most vulnerable children and young people.

Over the last 10 years, Raising Futures Kenya has established and successfully supported two specialist schools for children with disabilities in Kenya - Percy Davies and Kirunguru Special school, in the Muranga County, Kenya. From building classrooms, kitchens and therapy rooms to providing funds to purchase specialist learning resources and staff professional development to ensure the highest quality teaching and learning for students.

This work has been carried out in close collaboration with both schools and local Government and Education Offices over the last decade to gradually hand over ownership of the schools to the local communities where they are situated. Raising Futures Kenya has a very strong relationship with both schools and their surrounding communities that has ensured the success of all of our activities within these schools. The investments made and the activities conducted with both schools over the last 10 years provides a very strong basis on which to finally hand over the schools totally to their communities.

In partnership with Help Every Day, over the next 12-18 months Percy Davies and Kirunguru schools will receive finical and practical support to enable them to make the final step towards full self-reliance..

Help Every Day's full project grant will specifically finance the following activities

School feeding programme for children at Kirunguru and Percy Davies Special Schools for one year. 
This includes a substantial breakfast, lunch and two snacks a day for 145 children for one year. The immediate impact is that the children are able to concentrate in class, receive nutritious food and enough calories each day to support physical and mental development.

Learning materials and educational resources for Kirunguru and Percy Davies Special Schools for one year.
Purchase of educational learning materials and resources such as pens, paper, textbooks, brail books, arts and crafts, sensory toys, musical instruments for 145 children. This ensures that the children receive high quality, engaging education that uses a range of appropriate and interesting learning materials such as musical instruments, sensory toys, toys for the development of fine motor skills and larger equipment for physical development.

Medical support for students at the Kirunguru and Percy Davies Special School for one year.
Anti-malarial, rehydration treatment, pain relief, physical supports such as walking frames or wheelchairs, other aids such as hearing aids or joint supports for children who require it. Lower absenteeism due to illness contributes to higher attainment of children. Children will be more able to access and engage with their education, children’s individual needs will be catered for, and overall it will improve health outcomes for children at the school.

Physical therapies for children at Kirunguru and Percy Davies Special School for one year.
Covering the cost of therapy equipment and travel expenses for volunteer paediatric Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist from local hospital to visit twice a month. This means that the children receive specialist physical therapies from trained professionals which improve mobility, speech, motor skills and life skills including feeding and toileting skills. This ultimately leads to children being more autonomous and able to live more independently.

Establishing income generating School Business Farms (SBF) at both schools for self reliance.
Once established, the SBFs will generate nutritious food for the schools feeding programmes for years to come and will produce surplus which will be sold to generate income for the school. In the
medium to long term, this income will allow the schools to cover the costs of the items listed above (e.g. utilities, medical expenses, learning resources etc.) allowing the school to be self-reliant, rather than relying on ongoing aid.

Landscaping/accessibility improvements at Kirunguru Special School.
Financing the costs of levelling of playground area and landscaping of land at Kirunguru School to make accessible to children with physical disabilities. Building of wheelchair ramps,installation of handrails and way-finding systems for children. This ensures that children, especially those with severe mobility restrictions and children in wheelchairs are able to safely and freely move around their school leading to a boost in overall wellbeing, confidence and morale of children. Children have a safe, accessible
playground to use.

Accessible play equipment for children at Kirunguru and Percy Davies Special School.
Funding the acquisition of accessible play equipment such as multi-sensory play experiences that involve touch, sound and sight - outdoor musical instruments or ‘touchyfeely’ boxes for example. Building of a small ‘quiet zone’ for children with autism to have a safe, relaxed space to get away from the hustle and bustle of school life. This ensures a better play-environment for the children as they are able to benefit from equipment tailored specifically for their needs.

See the overview of this budget and the full project outline here.

Main issues that this project aims to adress

Across Kenya, there is a culture stigma and discrimination against children with disabilities. Disabled children rarely attendschool, many are hidden from public view at home or in some very sad cases, neglected and abused.

Through this project partnersship we aim at adressing the following overall problems:

  • Lack of appropriate education opportunities for children with disabilities in Kenya
  • Significant Government cuts to funding for specialist schools
  • Special schools’ reliance on external aid and unsustainability of current model of funding and aid

This project partnership does this by supporting the two specialist schools - Kirunguru and Percy Davies - in an underserviced area of rural Kenya (Muranga County) to increase the number of disabled children accessing education, by investing in sustainable self-reliance plans for our partner specialist schools, and by supporting the on-going running costs for these two schools until self-reliance is achieved. 

Short-term outcomes

The project aims to achieve the following effects in the short-term:

  • Disabled children access and engage specialist education
  • Disabled children access improved nutrition via attending school
  • Kirunguru and Percy Davies specialist schools are able to stay open despite significant Government cuts
  • Children receive physical therapies from trained professionals

Medium and long-term impact

In the long term this project hopes to be able to contribute the the following effects in the local communities in which the schools are situated:

  • Increase in disabled children’s confidence and self-esteem
  • Disabled children develop ability to live independently and care for themselves and improve mobility and language skills
  • Disabled children improve basic skills in numeracy and literacy
  • Kirunguru and Percy Davies specialist schools are able to generate some income to support themselves financially
  • Reduction in rates of extreme poverty among disabled populations in the communities we work with in Kenya
  • Reduction of reliance on external aid for specialist schools in vulnerable communities in rural Kenya

For a detailed overview of this project partnership between, the content of the planned activities and the overall budget for the expenditure of the fundung provided by Help Every Day, please see the full project outline here


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