Preschool centre for children living with disabilities in Omaruru gets hefty boost
The German Embassy recently donated about N$432,000 to the Taking Hands Educational Centre in Omaruru through its micro-project fund, to address space issues at a centre that provides care for children with disabilities.
The centre which consists of an integrative early childhood development centre, currently houses 22 children, of which five are children living with disabilities, and an afternoon homework centre with 35 children, ranging from preschool to grade 8.
According to the Embassy, there are no classes in any primary schools in Omaruru for learning-assisted education and no affordable schools or institutions for children with disabilities in the Erongo region.
The funds are intended to assist with a construction of a new facility with two classrooms to alleviate space issues at Taking Hands Educational Centre.
“The funding will be used for the construction of a larger and disability-friendly building that is located in a more accessible place and can accommodate more children. The new rooms will not be overcrowded, therefore more effective teaching is possible. The bathroom facilities are planned wheelchair friendly, making it more accessible for the children with disabilities,” read a statement by the German Embassy
In addition, the centre offers homework supervision for schoolchildren and serves them lunch in the afternoons.
“This gives them a quiet learning environment, tutoring, and a daily healthy meal. It has caused many children with learning and behavioral challenges having been suspended from school and thus sitting at home. Children with disabilities often do not receive the much-needed treatment and are excluded from community life. The center, with its valuable work, tries to give these children a chance to better their circumstances and provides them with adequate support,” it continued.
The centre which has been in operation since September 2021, will move into the new premises at the beginning of 2024. The project is aimed at children – with or without disabilities – of low-income families that do not have equal opportunities in life due to a lack of financial resources, lack of access to therapy, or missing support to do their homework and learn. It also provides relief for mothers who are caring for their disabled children and are unable to work.
“The children there have access to WIFI and a printer to work for their research projects and are tutored in reading, English, Maths, Ondonga, and Koekoegowab. All the children get a healthy cooked meal for lunch. They are also assisted with purchasing spectacles and school uniforms where necessary and special programmes for kids with learning disabilities and physical disabilities are implemented.”