Otunga Center for Children

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The Ed Colina Foundation is proud to announce groundbreaking of our new
Otunga Center for Children
.

History
CARDINAL-OTUNGA-04.2
In our work with the elderly adults in Machakos, Kenya, we have learned of a number of critically handicapped children who are not adequately cared for.  There are no adequate facilities for the care and education of developmentally handicapped children in this area of Kenya.  There are facilities for children who have the possibility of moving into a vocational setting with proper education but nothing for those who are struggling with severe cognitive disabilities.  In our short time of meeting the elderly in this area, we have found children who are all but abandoned by family or who are neglected and abused.  Some of these children suffer simply because of the lack of knowledge and resources of the parents, through no fault of their own. Some of these children are doomed to spending their life in a bed, in a dark room, malnourished and unstimulated.

We began our research by meeting with the Director of the Children’s Ministry in Machakos.   She assured us there was no other facility of its kind in Kenya.  Many of the traditional children’s homes, orphanages and schools in Kenya are “for profit”.

CARDINAL-OTUNGA-05.2Mwololo Kilonzo, our Kenyan Director, was educated in Social Work and was formerly employed by Children of God Relief Institute (Nyumbani Children’s Home / Village). He worked in the Nyumbani program in the Nairobi slums (Lea Toto). He was also given the responsibility of intake, evaluation and resettlement of AIDS orphans at Nyumbani Village, Kitui.   More recently, Mwololo and I developed a feeding program for the elderly in Machakos area, during a lengthy period of drought. It was while doing this relief work that we discovered the number of severely handicapped children, suffering from lack of food, medical attention and parental awareness.   It is our belief that by informally educating both the handicapped child and the parent, we can improve the lives of the children as well as the family through activities, therapies and integration back to the home and community.

Land
We have property in Machakos District where we currently have a farm and large chicken operation.  On that land, we have broken ground and ae beginning to construct a small facility for outreach and the care of critically handicapped children.

The Center
Cardinal Otunga Center is to be a center for outreach to critically disabled children and their families. The center will be unique as it strives to cater to the holistic needs of children who are critically physically and mentally disabled, irrespective of gender and ethnic community.

Services offered
Cardinal Otunga Center for Children offers the following services to the children who are enrolled in the Center’s programs:

1)      Medical Referral – Children will be assisted in traveling to appropriate medical facilities for evaluation, diagnosis and treatment.

2)      Family Instruction and Education – Families can benefit from instruction in proper methods of care for the handicapped child.

3)      Nutritional Management – Students and families will be directed in appropriate foods and feeding methods to ensure optimal dietary health.

4)      Physical and Occupational Therapy – initially offsite PT and OT services for those who will benefit from it

5)      Spiritual Care and Psycho-Social Family Support provided to cope with the challenges of caring for a child with severe disabilities.

6)      Informal Education – opportunities for the child to attend appropriate educational facilties

7)     Family Support Groups

8)      Boarding – Where absolutely necessary, there will be respite and residential care, where remaining with family is not possible.

Source of Funding.

1)      Poultry and farming projects already initiated on site

2)      Sale of water from a recently constructed shallow well

3)      Contributions from friends and international well wishers

4)      Contributions and support from the local community, area churches, government assistance.

Timeline
2016                     Land Acquired
May 2017               Meeting with Children’s Department – Machakos town
July 2017                Design Plans and Blueprints Drawn
August 2017             Plans Submitted for Construction To District Survey Committee
September 2017       Plans Submitted to National Environmental Management Authority for Approval
September 2017       Plans Submitted to National Construction Authority for Approval
September 2017        Construction Begins
January 2018            Construction Completed

The Name – Otunga Center for Children

Maurice Cardinal Otunga (1923 – 2003) was the first Kenyan Bishop, Archbishop, Cardinal but was always simple in his ways. “Otunga” is a word for the staff the elderly lean on for support.  At the end of his life Cardinal Otunga had no house, no car, no possessions.  A man of peace and joy but a true warrior of the spirit. Soft spoken, but a strong promoter of the dignity of the human person, of life and of the family.

WE NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE
The Ed Colina Foundation welcomes assistance from groups and individuals with expertise and resources in the area of disabilities and medicine.  We continue to focus on the Gospel mandate of caring for widows and orphans, assisting the poorest of the poor.  This has included poor children in the slums of Nairobi as well as vulnerable adults in the outskirts of Machakos.  This new venture, The Otunga Center for Children, seeks to address the lack of services, care and humanity towards “the least ones”, those children with severe handicapping conditions.  We need your help!  If you have funding connections or have connections with those individuals or groups that can provide assistance as we begin, we welcome your support.   ed@edcolinafoundation.org

  Blue Print    The Plan

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