WSB Africa Staff Celebrate Africa Scout Day with a visit to Children with Cerebral Palsy
13 March 2020, Nairobi, Kenya: In the spirit of Africa Scout Day celebrations, the staff of the World Scout Bureau Africa support Centre were joined by some Kenyan Rover Scouts at a visit to the Cerebral Palsy Society of Kenya (CPSK) secretariat in Donholm, Nairobi. CPSK hosts the only Scout group in Kenya for children with celebral palsy - a first nationally and regionally, which was launched on the 5th of October 2019. This was started after realising that Scouting could be used as an avenue for reintegrating the children into society. CPSK now plans to introduce parents of the children to Scouting as well to be able them to better accompany and support them in their activities.
Started in 1994 by a group of 10 parents of children with cerebral palsy – a condition which can be acquired during pregnancy, during birth and after birth, the society currently has a membership of over 200 parents. Working with professional doctors and caregivers they provide care and support services to over 75 children living with the condition. They also teach parents basic therapy and stress management skills, as well as offer a special need education programme and home-based therapy for grown up children.
Mrs. Dorothy Wanjiru Mwangi, the Chairperson and current Acting Director at CPSK took the team through an understanding of cerebral palsy to enable them to appreciate the challenges that come with the condition. “My son, 41 years old, has cerebral pasly so I know firsthand what it feels like to live with the condition,” she says.
The WSB Africa Staff had a chance to tour the facility, interact with the children and ask questions. “We have chosen to be here on this Africa Scout Day as a way of fostering the good relations between Scouts and the community. As Scouts we are committed to helping the less fortunate people in society; and we really thank you and the staff here for the difficult yet important work you are doing. We hope it can inspire Scouts, especially those of us blessed with abled bodies, to always consider supporting those living with disabilities,” said Mostaff Matesanwa, Senior Manager, Adults in Scouting and Volunteer Development.
The self-supported centre receives some assistance from the National Fund for the Disabled of Kenya among other supporters. The parents pay One Hundred Shillings (approximately one US dollar) per 30 minutes therapy session, which is way below the marke rate of One Thousand Shillings (Ten US Dollars) per session charges by other healthcare institutions.
Considering that government facilities don't give therapy to children over 5 years, the centre has plans to raise fund for construction of a boarding facility to help care for even children aged above five to whom they continue to provide maintenance therapy through their outreach program. Apart from the centre in Donholm, they are in the process of opening up others across the country in Kitale, Kisii, Makueni and Athi River. On 27th June 2020 CPSK will host its annual fundraising walk to raise awareness about the condition and to mobilize funds to support its operations.
To crown the visit, WSB Africa donated some sanitary items, foodstuffs and learning materials for the children. “We hope this small contribution can help, even in the slightest way, to support the work you do here,” said Grace Kamau, Assistant Youth Programme when she handed over the donations. “We hope we can find other sustainable ways for Scouts to support your work even more, she added.