The Otunga Center or “O-Center” provides outreach to the many handicapped children and their families tucked away in remote areas of Machakos County. The Center coordinates services, offering onsite PT, OT, nutrition and pediatric care.
The goal of the Center is to keep children in the family home. We know that the best place for these children is not an institution but with a family, parents or grandparents, educated in the proper ways of caring for a handicapped child.
The O-Center can offer a 30 day, 60 day or more respite, where children can be assisted with more intense and ongoing therapies, consistent availability of food and clean water and parental education. With proper parental education, they can then return to the home with follow up. There may be situations where the stay at the Center would be extended; abuse, emergency health issues, or other circumstances which put the child’s health at risk at home.
The Center is also a geographic hub of outreach to the community . We currently employ on-site Social Workers, Community Health Workers, Physical and Occupational Therapists, a Nutritionist and Pediatrician. The O Center has become a distribution point for food supplements and “plumpy-nut”. The majority of our 43 children are considered malnourished or severely malnourished. The building is a structure with multiple community uses. Adult Education, Food Distribution Site, Community Gathering Space.
Services Offered: The O-Center for Children offers the following services to the children enrolled in the Center’s programs:
Medical Referral – Children will be assisted in accessing and traveling to appropriate medical facilities for evaluation, diagnosis, prescriptions and treatment.
Family Instruction and Education – Families will benefit from instruction in proper methods of care for the handicapped child.
Nutritional Management – Children and families will be directed in appropriate foods and feeding methods to ensure optimal dietary health. We have a full-time Nutritionist on site who can distribute high nutrient food supplements, such as “Plumpynut”.
Physical and Occupational Therapy – PT and OT services are provided for those needing it. Both therapists are available on site, five days per week.
Psycho-Social Family Support – provided to cope with the challenges of caring for a child with severe disabilities. We have Social Workers and Community Health Workers on site daily.
Informal Education – Opportunities will be explored for the child to attend appropriate educational facilities and will work toward those goals.
Respite and Boarding – When circumstances demand and remaining in the family setting is not possible, there may be respite and residential opportunities available. We have a full-time house mom living on site.
Some Pics of O Center Construction and Elder Gathering