Written by our Kilimanjaro intern Ethan Jonker
Building a Caring Community (BCC) is an organisation which provides education and care support for children with both physical and intellectual disabilities and their family. These disabilities include cerebral palsy, autism and Downs Syndrome. The students come from underprivileged areas and often don’t have the equipment or support they should have to help them with their immediate needs or to help them develop. African Impact has been partnering with BCC for a while and has seen some amazing results. But at the moment the facilities where the African Impact volunteers work is not completely friendly to the disabilities which the children have. Although the volunteers assist by working one-on-one with the children, better facilities will improve the impact which is already being made. This is where The Happy Africa Foundation enters the picture having recently formed a partnership to raise funds and build a facility for the children with ramps for ease of access, specially-fitted bathrooms, classrooms and storage space for their equipment. We also aim to create an environment which is fun for the children as well.
Although the facilities are a challenge for the program, the project keeps growing and advancing. Recently, AI has implemented an education curriculum with the children which brings structure to the basic education which they are given. This includes numbers, letters and flashcards of fruit and vegetables. Although there have been challenges, we have seen the children adapt to the new way of doing this quite well. This is an amazing development in the programme, but it has once again brought to the light the benefit of a fully equipped facility will have in the advancement of the programme. At the moment all the students are placed in one room. This can cause problems when on one side of the room the children with physical disabilities are doing their physical exercises and on the other side the children are trying to learn their numbers or letters. This creates space for distractions which does not benefit any of the students who are part of the class. But these challenges do not hinder the enthusiasm of the volunteers or the students. And we are seeing a continuous growth within the students as well as in the project. And with the volunteers showing their faithfulness in going every week and giving the students the one-on-one attention which they need, the potential of the impact which this project will have is awesome. Add to this a fully equipped facility and the sky is the limit.