SCHOOL: Help us create small ‘heaven’ for mentally challenged

Pangani special school board members and teachers receiving donations from the Lions club representatives. PHOTO/Jackson Okata.

A public special school in Nakuru is appealing to well-wishers to aid in creating a peaceful environment for its population of mentally challenged pupils.

The board of management at Pangani Special School says that allocations being given by the government are too little to guarantee the students a comfortable stay at the school.

The school’s Board chairman Elijah Njoroge says as much as the government has tried in putting up structures at the school, more needs to be done to ensure the structures are fully utilized.

Njoroge cited insufficient learning material as the biggest challenge facing the students who have different mental challenges.

“The government comes and they put up very nice buildings and vanish. There is more we need than good physical structures,“he said.

Speaking when he received donations from the Lions Club and Prime Mattresses, Njoroge noted that most workshops constructed at the school are not in full use due to lack of training equipment.

“Majority of our students come here because they see it a safe place. Things are worse at home and that is why they love being in school because while here they will eat and receive good care.”

He appealed “it is for this reason we are appealing to well-wishers and organizations’ to come and help us give these children the love they need because they are our children and we cannot run away from them.”

The school with a population of 185 students is also struggling with shortage of food to feed the special students.

“There are children who come to school because we feed them and that is the only meal they will have in a day. They come here, eat and go home to sleep.”

Njoroge challenged the government to be consistently sending counselors to the school to provide psycho-social support to the teachers and support staff who go through a lot of difficulties in handling children with mental challenges.

“They don’t go through the normal school curriculum and without much support we cannot give them the skills they need.”

The donations from the Lions Club and Prime Mattresses included mattresses for the upcoming boarding section and sanitary items for girls.

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Jackson Okata is a freelance journalist with experience in both broadcast, print and online journalism. His areas of interest are Climate Change, Environment, Agribusiness, Technology, and Gender Empowerment. His contact: amboleokata@gmail.com

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