Thoughtful Collaboration Helps Tenwek’s Special Needs Children

Penny Hage and Solomon Rop, founder of Tenwek’s Special Needs Clinic, on a home visit to a SNC patient.

Occupational Therapist Penny Hage, MS, OTR/L, was instrumental in establishing FOT’s Faith Fund, which supports the operations of Tenwek’s Special Needs Clinic (SNC). As the FOT Champion for the SNC, Penny and her husband, orthopedic surgeon Bill Hage, M.D., have raised critical funds that pay for general therapy assessment and treatment, developmental devices, wheelchairs, braces, prosthesis, crutches, and special seating for Tenwek patients with special needs.

During her last trip to Tenwek, Penny visited Heshima Children’s Center in Nairobi, a model facility that offers compassionate therapy, education, and care for children with disabilities and their families. Heshima means “dignity” in Swahili and, like Penny, the staff there believe “that Jesus Christ has a special purpose filled with dignity for children with special needs in Kenya.”

Heshima’s Dignity Designs store sells a variety of products hand-made by the mothers of the children they serve. This provides the women with the dignity of work with a monthly income and assistance with health care. Penny has purchased multiple shipments of colorful beaded bracelets – as favors for her birthday fundraising party and to re-sell – with all proceeds going to the Faith Fund. To date, Penny has raised nearly $8,000 of support for the SNC through this thoughtful collaboration.

“The sweet thing about this partnership is that it not only supports SNC but it also supports the moms of Heshima and Dignity Designs,” explains Penny.

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