Faith Fund for Special Needs
Having a child with a disability in Kenya is an enormous emotional, physical, and financial burden for children and their families. The cost of therapy and equipment is simply unaffordable for many families, leaving many children underserved. They live in isolation, having no access to basic medical care, education, or adaptive equipment. Family members often are unable to work since they must stay home to care for a disabled child.
In July of 2016, the Special Needs Clinic (SNC) at Tenwek Hospital ofﬁcially began its ministry for children with disabilities. Children from birth to age 18 can now receive proper identiﬁcation, assessment, and management of various disabilities at the SNC, which is operated cooperatively by the hospital’s Physiotherapy and Orthopedic Surgery Departments. Presenting diagnoses include spina bifida, cerebral palsy, club feet, cleft palate, and numerous other physical and developmental disabilities.
The SNC was the dream of Solomon Rop, a physical therapist at Tenwek. Through Solomon’s work in inpatient and outpatient physical therapy at Tenwek, God began to show him the needs of the vastly underserved disabled community in Kenya. With referrals from area families and missionaries, children were identiﬁed to receive therapy services as well as wheelchairs and other adaptive devices. This significantly improves their access to education, their community, and a better quality of life.
The SNC also works in partnership with Bomet County’s Ministries of Education and Social Services, the Africa Gospel Church, and local schools to ensure that children with disabilities can access appropriate school programs to gain the social and educational benefits of attending school with their siblings and peers.
Since its inception, the SNC has transformed the lives of children and their families – and new patients arrive weekly. Clinic visits cost from $5-$20 USD. The cost for special wheelchairs suitable for use in Kenya’s rural terrain range from $150-$350 USD. The cost to operate the SNC is approximately $4500 per calendar quarter.
The SNC is entirely dependent on gifts to the Faith Fund from compassionate donors who recognize the life-changing impact their gifts can make for a special needs child. 100% of all contributions to the Faith Fund help families pay for general therapy assessment and treatment, as well as developmental devices, wheelchairs, braces, prosthesis, crutches, and special seating.
Learn more about the Special Needs Clinic here.
A Shining Example of Faith
The Faith Fund is named for Faith, a young girl with spina bifida and one of the first SNC patients. Faith spent the first seven years of her life crawling on her hands and knees. After SNC staff determined she had enough strength and sensation to walk with the aid of crutches, Solomon loaned Faith the only pediatric walker that Tenwek owned and fitted her with a sturdy shoe. Just six days after her initial visit to the SNC, Faith took her first steps into a new and brighter future!
Faith’s grandmother, caring for four other children, could not have afforded her care without assistance. The clinical care, plus an emergency room admission and one-night stay in the hospital totaled about $50 – an impossible amount for her family, but an insightful example of the impact U.S. dollars can make.
Enoch has a severe form of cerebral palsy and at age eight had never been able to sit independently. He was completely dependent upon his mother for care and mobility. Using SNC resources, Solomon worked with a local carpenter to craft a special adaptive chair that enabled Enoch to sit upright and attend school and church for the first time in his life! For an investment of $30 USD, Enoch’s life was transformed!