In 1990, an Irish Priest was working with the Loita Maasai communities in the outskirts of Kenya and discovered many children with disabilities who were neglected and left to suffer. A lack of education and a tradition of taboos resulted in many children with special needs being hidden away and at risk for death after birth. Children born with clubbed feet, cleft palates, mental handicaps, and other disabilities were not given the opportunity for a healthy life and any rehabilitation efforts. Instead, most had poor care, poor hygiene, little or nothing to eat, and at risk for crime and a harmful life experience.
He recruited a nurse, Franciska, to help him establish and operate this home to provide critical education and support for families and rehabilitation for the children. Franciska remains there today, volunteering her time, expertise, and heart to serve individual lives, families, and communities in this admirable way.
From this small and dedicated team, the community witnessed the opportunities and impact of rehabilitation therapy and the value of each child. A true grassroots effort, they are limited in their fundraising capacity and means. When Wellspring had the opportunity to meet them, we discovered they were in danger of closing their doors for lack of support.
In 1991, the Namelok-Naretoi Home for the Handicapped was started to ensure that the children with disabilities would be provided with medical rehabilitation therapy and education. “Namelok-Naretoi” means “sharing success.” Led by Franciska, a member of the community she serves, they have provided assistance to 160 children with special needs to date, and funding will allow them to continue to meet these needs.
Their mission can be divided into four necessary and strategic steps: 1) research and field work 2) raising awareness and education 3) providing necessary hygiene, nutrition, surgical care and physical therapy and 4) ensuring appropriate school placement.
Namelok-Naretoi Home for the Handicapped is working to counter the cultural stigmas, transforming communal attitudes and enabling children with special needs to realize their full physical, social, and scholastic potential. This can be attributed to the holistic, integrative, and long-term nature of their approach.
This year, Wellspring International aims to provide $36,693 USD for the operating budget and urgent need of Namelok-Naretoi Home for the Handicapped. This will serve to sustain the mission – to support the children directly (food, accommodation, medical care, school fees), facility maintenance, paid staff (cook, caretaker, mediator/coordinator, director/chairman), transportation (transportation, maintenance of vehicle, inspection of vehicle), and administration (office supplies, wire transfer fees).
Please contact us for more information regarding this significant project.
“Compassion- which means, literally, “to suffer with”- is the way to the truth that we are most ourselves, not when we differ from others, but when we are the same. Indeed the main spiritual question is not, “What difference do you make?” but “What do you have in common?” It is not “excelling” but “serving” that makes us most human. It is not proving ourselves to be better than others but confessing to be just like others that is the way to healing and reconciliation.”
Namelok-Naretoi Home for the Handicapped
August 2015- Present