We recently started our Parish Clinics (village zone) in January 2012. A Parish is part of a sub county, within each sub county there are approximately 6 parishes, each parish has approximately six villages. The idea of a Parish Clinic has been on the heart of Teresha for three years. One of the difficulties SOH found over the years has been trying to reach all the children through home visiting. Teresha felt bringing the children together from the villages near to where they lived would help more children receive the services SOH offers.
We started by having a meeting with the local village leaders, this meeting was multi-purpose aiming to:
· sensitize the leaders regarding disabilities
· mobilize the leaders to reach their villages
· enable us to start the parish clinics.
An emphasis was put on reaching those kids who were tied up, mistreated, or not given the necessities of life. In Uganda, kids with disabilities are often not seen as children and often mistreated.
The Parish Clinics consist of:
· a short Bible message using puppets,
· providing knowledge and skills to parents,
· Offering spiritual support to parents.
We are targeting four Parishes and plan to meet once a month with the Parishes. After the first meeting with each parish, we will combine two parishes together. Each Parish will have a parent’s committee made up of a representative of each village within the Parish. The aim is that the parent committees will take ownership over the clinics and let Spring of Hope know the difficulties the parents are facing and how we can help the children of their village. Our aim is to see that the village representatives will follow up on the families in their local community and offer a listening ear.
One of focuses of the clinics is to train the parents. The training will focus on educating and empowering parents so they can empower their child. We will target kids who have physical disabilities in one group and kids who need support in daily living skills in the other group. We believe without training parent’s children cannot reach their true potential.
|First parents managment comittee|
These clinics are so exciting for various reasons! They provide a chance to change the view of people with disabilities, to alter society’s views on people with disabilities. Furthermore, they give parents ideas on how they can help their child. Parents will need to take the information and adapt it to their own child’s needs. Through this process we hope to instill the idea that their child can learn and they can be a teacher to their child. The Parish Clinic allows Spring of Hope to reach more people with the resources currently available. Another powerful benefit is that parents can meet other parents to support and help each other in raising their child with disabilities. We are excited to see how the clinics evolve and help children, families, and communities!
We have so far hosted two Parish Clinics at two different locations. The first training involved sharing the message of creation and how God created man in His image. The message was extended to the fact that God also created people with disabilities. We then started working on developing positive views towards people with disabilities. Within the training we emphasized the fact that people with disabilities have potential, can learn, and that they do not have a disability due to witchcraft or curses, and that they need to be treated like any child who does not have a disability, and are loved by God.
Then we educated parents about Spring of Hope and the aims of the Parish Clinics. Following the informative session we registered new and old clients. At the first Parish we had 41 kids and had 71 at the second Parish Clinic. The kids had various types of disabilities: physical, cognitive disabilities, Epilepsy, hearing impairments, ADHD, and various other needs. Some of the kids were referred to the clinic, as their condition was medical and not a disability. These first two clinics were a success, as we were able to reach many people, both current and new clients of Spring of Hope!
We would love to cover all six parishes in Kangulumira, please help us by donating to parish clinics.