Special Educational Needs

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We believe that all children are entitled to an education regardless of their race, religion, sex or disability. Children with special educational needs (SEN) face many challenges in their everyday life in Uganda due either to the severity of their disability, a lack of funding for specialist equipment and schooling or simply society’s misunderstanding of disability.

Our SEN programme aims to overcome some of these barriers to give children with special educational needs the opportunity to live active and productive lives.

The programme aims to enhance and train teachers, therapists and community members in Special Educational Needs whilst providing a safe and well resourced learning environment for children with disabilities. We provide an education for pupils who are otherwise kept at home and uneducated because of their disability. Our aim is to enable these pupils to enter into an integrated mainstream education system by providing specialist care and equipment to aid their education and welfare.

SPE Special Educational Needs from Soft Power Education on Vimeo.

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Our two dedicated staff members, Arthur (Occupational Therapist) and Sylive (Physiotherapist) and Josephine (SEN Teacher) work across four locations in Jinja District to bring these much needed services to children with disabilities and their families.

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This colourful purpose built facility was opened in August 2014 and is the home of the SEN Programme. Located on the same site as Kyabirwa Children’s Centre, the SEN clinic offers a therapy room and SEN classroom.

Aisha and SaubaThe SEN team run four outreach clinics every week for the disabled children living in the rural villages of Jinja District. We offer occupational therapy (OT), physiotherapy (PT), education and personal and social development. Our team works alongside families and carers help them understand how to continue the work once their children return home. It is inspiring to see so much support from parents and carers and their enthusiasm for improving the quality of life for their disabled children.

In addition to the Kyabirwa clinic, we run further clinics in Bugembe and at Kyomya Primary School and  Walukuba West Primary School. Some children walk long distances to attend our clinics, highlighting just how much these services are needed. We have seen vast changes in community perceptions towards disability since the clinics began, with children with disabilities are being seen in a more positive light, mixing with their peers and being valued as people.

The clinics also serve as a means of assessing and referring children to hospitals or other NGOs or organisations for medication, surgery or specialist appliances and we provide a key service in being a bridge between families and other services. 2014 saw a new partnership with Transporting Uganda’s Sick Children (TUSC), who committed to providing our therapists with free transport to enable them to offer home visits to the families of children with more profound disabilities and to train parents to continue therapy and sensory activities themselves at home.

The SEN Project also supports two residential units, click on the links below to read more about these schools:

Specialised volunteers (SEN teachers, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists) have been integral in the development of this project and our staff. If you are interested in volunteering on this project, please email volunteering@softpowereducation.com.