The Faith Fund Special Needs was birthed just one year ago by FOT to help support the new Special Needs Clinic at Tenwek which is serving children age 18 and under. Since then, more than $17,000 has been raised to help fund clinic visits, physiotherapy, and equipment distributed in the Special Needs Clinic. Thank you – your gifts are making an impact!
The clinic is the realization of a dream for Tenwek physical therapist Solomon Rop, who has a heart to serve the estimated 300 children with disabilities in Bomet County. Typically in Kenyan culture, children born with deformities and/or disabilities are often regarded as “cursed” and consequently hidden away in their homes without healthcare, socialization, or education. The GREAT news is that this misconception is now changing.
In the past year, Tenwek’s Special Needs Clinic has evaluated and started treatment for 87 children. This life changing help has included:
- Distribution of 26 wheelchairs and 8 pediatric walkers to children with spina bifida and cerebral palsy
- Providing therapy and serial casting for clubfoot deformity
- Providing 6 new prosthetic legs
- Creation and distribution of re-usable diapers to children with incontinence
Ripples of Hope
The ripples from this compassionate care extend to the families of these children as the clinic has become a place where mothers can socialize, support, and encourage each other as they share the challenges and burdens of raising children with disabilities. Many children, equipped with assistive devices, are able to attend school now for the first time. This gives caregivers a chance to pursue work or other activities that benefit their families.
There were endless smiles on the day these four children from the Bomet Hostel for Special Needs received their new prostheses – made at Tenwek – and walked for the first time since losing limbs! Children, left to right: Deborah, Mercy, Amos, Rose. Staff, left to right: Tanner Claridge (short-term volunteer prosthetist), Sister Emmy (children’s caregiver), Solomon Rop, and Nicholas Ngeno (both physical therapy department staff)
The health of the children is improving and bedsores are healing as they sit on specialized seating devices and cushions. There are fewer infections in the spina bifida population because they are no longer crawling in the dirt but ambulating independently with assistive devices. The confidence and self-esteem of these children is higher as they realize a greater sense of dignity and purpose alongside their developmental peers.
Obviously, the clinic is bursting at its seams with a flood of new patients and many more expected. There are dreams for expanding the facility, adding an occupational therapist and another prosthetist, and furnishing the prosthetic lab with new equipment. The Special Needs Clinic at Tenwek is truly a place where the staff serves as the hands and feet of Christ to deliver compassionate care to the most vulnerable of children.
To see a 10-year-old take her first-ever steps, or watch former amputees discard their crutches and begin to race with one another brings indescribable joy. It is a privilege to see God’s hand of provision to make “the lame to walk.”
You can make a contribution to the Faith Fund for Special Needs by using the secure, online donation form here. On the drop down menu for “Please Use This Gift” choose Faith Fund for Special Needs to designate your gift.