Everything started with a Sister from the Mill Hill Congregation. She started to visit parents who cared for their disabled children. The original idea of St. Francis Rehabilitation Project was to enable disabled children to have access to schools and education. The location of the home is next to HGM Primary School. This enables the children to move quite independently from the home to school and back.
On 27. August 2007 Small Home was established.
When "choosing" a child, the money, religion or the type of disability is not considered. All children in need are most welcome at Small Home.
In the beginning "only" children with a physical disability were affiliated. Now, also children with mental or multiple disabilities are included and cared for.
Before the children join the Small Home, Sister Christine and her staff visit the homes of the children and examine the family situation. Also, during the holidays of the children, when they stay with their parents, the team does home visits from time to time.
Currently, the parents are supposed to pay a contribution for the accommodation and care of their children. Since many of them are from poor families, most of the children depend totally on donations. In some cases not only the child at Small Home has to be supported but also the family back home depends on the food, medicine or clothes given by the project.
Every child receives as much assistance as he or she needs. The house mothers love the children just like real mothers. Depending on the type of disability and the needs of the child, he/she also has the possibility to get
The project is for children aged from 5 - 18 years. Sometimes the children don't finish primary school until they are 18. In these cases, they are allowed to stay at the home until they finish primary school, as education was one of the main reasons to start the project.
Small Home can be compared with a boarding school. The children are at Small Home during term time. In the holidays they go back to their families. A school year in Kenya is subdivided into 3 terms. The school year starts in January. In April (around Easter) they break for 3 weeks. The second break is in August. The children go home for another 3 weeks. By the end of October the school year ends. Since many children at Small Home need and depend on regular therapy, Small Home is closed for only one month - December.
Some of the children, who are in our program do not live at Small Home at all. Parents also have the opportunity to bring their child for daycare. This is a great chance especially for the families who live in Malindi. The parents bring the child in the morning and pick up him or her in the evening. A few children also live from Monday to Friday at the Small Home and go home for the weekend.
Currently 24 children board at Small Home and 11 children benefit form the daycare program. Furthermore the program also offers an "outreach program" for 5 communities outside Malindi. Once a month Sister Christine and the therapists or the social worker visit the children in the communities.
Paraplegia, infantile paralysis, tabes dorsalis, hydrocephaly, impaired growth - to name some of the physical disabilities. Beside the physical disabilities many children are also mentally affected. Many children are not able to talk or have difficulties in expressing themselves. More about the children and their stories you find here:
In total Small Home has 20 staff in various areas. There are 6 housemothers who take care of them, 2 therapists and one social worker. Furthermore there are 2 cooks, 2 cleaning women, 2 guards and 2 workers who do the farming (look after the cows and goats and water the vegetables). Sister Christine is responsible for the organization of the project and gets support from an accountant. Last but not least two special classes teachers, who teach the children at HGM, belong to the team.