Feeling energized after our first visit to Ndanai, the rehab team was eager for their first full clinic day at the house. Word again spread quickly that we had arrived and we were warmly surrounded by the students as we exited the vans, with handshakes and high fives for everyone. Those of us with long, curly hair provided a wonderful opportunity for the students to practice their hair braiding skills.
Once we were able to pull ourselves away, we started our day by learning a little more about the history of the home from the manager, Justus. Hearing this background for the first time, I learned about how wonderfully A Better World Canada has helped the Ndanai Small House become what it is today, and about the significance of the partnerships that have been established as a result.
Breaking up into groups of 2, we headed to the physiotherapy gym to get started with assessing the newly admitted children. The objective of the assessments was to get a sense of each child’s level of mobility, strength, and function, and to develop an exercise program to match our findings, one that could be monitored by the resident rehabilitation aide, Thomas, throughout the school year. As most of the new children speak minimal English, some of the school staff helped make verbal communication easier by acting as translators. Every child presented with different areas of concern, varied levels of comfort with us, and with minimal, if any, medical history available. In essence, making use of our varied skills was a good way to tackle this assessment day.
I think I can speak for both myself and my assessment partner for the day, Emily (an occupational therapist from the United States), that we were frequently amazed with how patient the children were, and how much they were willing to do what we asked of them. For many, this was their first encounter with a therapist, let alone one from a different continent. It was a challenging and humbling first clinic day for the team.
Working hard in the background, were Jessica, Karen, Joanne and Joyce, sorting through and organizing the physical donations we flew over from Canada; managing intake forms and chart photographs; and accompanying a child to the local medical clinic. And that’s just a few of the things!
To add to the many highlights of this day, was our first meeting with Veronica, a community occupational therapist. Veronica works with children at a nearby hospital and is an invaluable resource on helping children with disabilities and their families. We are looking forward to spending more time with Veronica over our stay in Kenya.
A picture from Keith Leavitt:
Andrew (School Board Chairman), George, Brian, and Lawrence ponder the problem of water at Sogobet Primary School. Several of our schools are suffering from the drought.