Meet Wanjiru Kanuri Founder|Director: Matasia Special Needs Centre

 ” I would describe myself as very ambitious, hardworking, adventurous, sincere girl, a daughter and a woman who is God fearing. I am enthusiastic about taking up new challenges in life, friendly and joyful.

Life is quite exciting to me, as it has a galore of opportunities and experiences to offer, and I feel one should always make the right use of it.

I am passionate about being supportive of others, especially children with special needs and wanting to see them live a meaningful happy life- this is why I founded Matasia Special Needs Centre.

Matasia Special Needs Centre is a community based organization in Matasia – Kajiado County that enables children with special needs in rural and marginalized areas to lead healthy and dignified lives.  We are creating a barrier – free society for children living with disability through community based rehabilitation and disability awareness. Children who live in rural areas and have disability are unlikely to access therapy and the care when they need it, because the options available are expensive and inaccessible.

Matasia Special Needs Centre aims to improve the health of children with special needs and support them achieve their maximum potential. The target group is children with neurological and intellectual challenges such as Autism, Down syndrome, Cerebral palsy and spinal bifida. We work with local communities, local and international volunteers and partners to provide quality and accessible services to children with disabilities and their families.

Our activities.

• Early Intervention Consultation.

• Creation of awareness about disability.

• Providing physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and rehabilitation services.

• Providing psychosocial support and trainings to parents of children with disabilities in ways to improve their health.

• School placements of children with disabilities

• Income generating activities by parents of children with disabilities.

What inspired me to start the Center….

I was inspired to start the center out of passion for disabled children and desire to improve their lives, having seen the struggle that the parents go through and the lack of facilities in the country that caters of this group.22wanjiru

 Many parents also do not want to accept that their child have a disability due to social, cultural and stigma associated with disability. Special needs children in rural areas unlikely to access health care and education. I felt that it was a calling, responsibility and obligation for someone to step up and make sure that these children are given an equal opportunities.

Starting the Centre has been a major step in a long journey I had purposed to undertake. Having been involved in special needs education field for 7 years in different capacities and in different organizations. This helped me gain lots of experience about disability issues.

After finishing my secondary education, I volunteered in different schools/centre of disabled children –working with special needs children made me appreciate that bringing up a child with special needs is not a sprint but a long marathon.

What keeps me going… is my faith, the love of my family and friends – the unconditional love from the children at the Center and their families. And even when am having a bad day, in my line of work I know that I can make another person’s day better.

The unconditional love from the children, seeing them improve on their physical abilities, wellness and independence makes me know that with care and love they can live a meaningful life.

 Impact….

The impact of our work is measured by the number of children / youth identified, assessed and benefiting from our services. And those referred or admitted to schools and other network organizations.

Some of our successes include, creating more awareness around our community and making them more aware about disability issues. We have 5 children admitted to established schools / special units. More importantly, children who were previously locked in homes for lack of facility in the area are now receiving therapy, care and rehabilitation services. The changes can be seen on their improved physical abilities, wellness and self-esteem. One boy who could not speak because his self-esteem was low has improved since he started coming for therapy.

 

33wanjiruOur children at the Centre truly inspire me , we have a simple mission at Matasia Special Needs Centre to reduce the effect of disability and work towards developing the children’s fullest potential by maximizing their integration in the community.

We all agree it’s a critically important undertaking and we are motivated daily to offer effective services and make a difference in children and youth living with disabilities.

 I also find inspiration from my team. My team is highly involved in the day to day running of the centre and has brought great ideas to the table, we are grateful for the opportunity to serve in the field of special education

It’s also inspiring when the community appreciates our efforts. Kindness inspires me, resilience inspires me and nature.

We are offering physiotherapy, occupational therapy and rehabilitation services to more than 40 children that we have identified and assessed.

With support from MSNC friends the families receive diapers and other items to help the children at home.

Our goal is that no child will be locked at home for lack of information and support because one of the reasons parents and guardians give up on them and lock them in is that there are no facilities available.  There is a lot of Ignorance and  social stigma, but with continued creation of awareness, I believe that will change.

 The future

What I envision for Matasia Special Needs Center is for it to be a hub of information in Kajiado County and the Country at large when it comes to issues disability. We would also like to have have a state of the art equipped facility to enable the children and youth receive all the therapy services and care under one roof.

Support our work…

At Matasia Special Needs Centre our aim is to bridge the gap between the school and home thereby giving value to parenting and offer therapy services –and work closely with the parents, care givers, special schools/units and other organisations.

In order to offer this support, we need all the help we can get, so whether you’re an individual, a teacher, a therapist, a medical person or a member of the medical community, corporates you can help make a difference at MSNC.

We have had great partners so far including Innovation Eye Hospital Kisii, Akili Dada, Bundu Rovers Club and Skletek of which we thank them for their support.

You can also partner with us by:

Sharing your expertise as a professional

Donate

Spreading the word

Attending our events

 

Contacts:

You can reach me via email: wanjiru@msnc.or.ke.

Or: Email: info@msnc.or.ke

Phone: +254 739 270237, +254712 318677.

Facebook:/matasia special needs centre

Twitter: msnckenya

Website: www.msnc.or.ke

 

 

 

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