By Susanne King
Kuhenza supports children in schools all over Kilifi County. We would like to introduce you to some of the schools and in this blog you will hear the story of Gede Special School which was one of the first Schools to get support from Kuhenza for the Children.
Gede Special School started in 1997 as a unit under Gede Primary School for a small number of hearing impaired children.
By 1998 a small boarding facility was constructed with funding from the Kenyan government and Danida. The facility accommodated 10 boys and 10 girls from Monday to Friday, all with physical and/or hearing impairments. During the weekend they were at home with their parents.
The same year another unit was established for children with severe physical and/or developmental challenges such as cerebral palsy and the two units ran alongside each other. That co-existence of children with hearing impairment and children with physical- and developmental challenges is unique for Gede Special School and it continues until today. The children learn from each other and the physically able children help those who are physically disabled.
Every year the enrolment of children increased and in September 2006 Gede Special School was established with its own administration and teachers were posted there by the Kenyan Government.
From being a small unit with a couple of class rooms and a small dormitory, Gede Special School is now a big school with 130 students and 14 teachers, 7 house parents, 4 kitchen staff and physio/occupational therapists.
Many institutions and individuals have helped the school grow and develop; The Kenyan Government, The Rotary Club, National Fund for People with Disabilities, The Community Development Trust Fund, Maurizio Begelli (a special friend of both Gede Special school and Kuhenza) and last but not least – Kuhenza for the Children.
Kuhenza for the Children constructed an Occupational Therapy building and 4 class rooms for the school and together with other donors built two of the dormitories.
Right now Kuhenza supports Gede Special School with 70 sponsorships, we pay the salaries for 3 House Parents who look after the children at the dormitories and we pay for 3 Teacher Aides and an Occupational Therapist.
The current Head Teacher Ms Rahma has been at Gede Special School since July 2019 taking over after the previous head teacher retired.
Gede Special School is a happy place where children thrive and develop in a positive environment. They are always happy to receive visitors so don’t hesitate to go there for a visit and get a tour of the school.