The PASNEC Kanyanya Centre is our main centre and is in Kampala. We try to be a “family” and our special needs children include those who have learning difficulties, Downs Syndrome, Autistic Spectrum Disorders and multiple disabilities.
The PASNEC Kanyanya Centre has four main parts to it:
It provides an assessment service for all disabilities. Parents & guardians can bring their children / young adults to obtain advice and support concerning appropriate measures to achieve as much independence as possible. We also organise training and workshops for parents, caregivers and their communities.
The Yellow class (Early Years section) receives toddlers and upwards. It works more like a clinic; where the children come on suitable days and times tailored to their individual requirements. The young children who come on a daily basis learn to settle into a different environment and are taught how to communicate with other as well as expressing their own needs. They learn how to do things for themselves, starting with self-help skills.
The main part of the Centre operates like a school, following the Ugandan Ministry of Education school terms, however the educational focus is very much on practical skills. Self-help skills, activities of daily living and vocational skills for the older children are priorities. There are currently four classes designated by different colours. Two classes (green & orange ) are part of the Girls Education Challenge programme, sponsored by British Aid through Children at Risk Action Network (Crane) partnering with Viva. Their web page is: www.cranenetwork.org . Most of the girls in these two classes have never been to school before, while some dropped out of mainstream schools because they could not cope with the curriculum. These girls receive training for a minimum of two terms; especially on learning acceptable behaviour, personal hygiene, pre-academics and vocational work. The girls are then evaluated on an individual basis. Some of them get reintegrated back into mainstream schools where there are learner support teachers that continue to help them in their classroom on a one to one basis. The girls that can not manage mainstream carry on with us in our vocational class for a bit longer. They learn skills in bakery (making cakes, chapati and other kinds of snacks), preparing meals, plaiting hair, using a sewing machine, making hard & liquid soap, jewellery & handcrafts plus making candles. They are then resettled with a project which they can do from home with the supervision of their family members. The purple class has older boys in it learning vocational skills like carpentry, handicrafts and door mat weaving. The red class is a mixed group, who learn skills, like the other classes, on an individual basis.
Our fourth section is still in the development stage. When our children / adults leave PASNEC, we want them to continue to be “pearls” wherever they are. Our desire is that as much as possible, they will be able to care for their own personal hygiene, help with practical tasks like washing dishes and clothes so they can play their part in their families and bring some income into the home through selling crafts, keeping animals or poultry, growing crops etc. We started a programme, where once a week, the children / adults who have left us, can come back and we can continue to support them practically, both at the Centre and at home.