This center of the HVP Gatagara is situated in Gikondo sector, Kicukiro district and was founded September 16, 2009. It is a separate special primary school for intellectually challenged (mentally disabled) children, connected to the centre in Gikondo.
Services featured are:
Care:Orthopedic consultation, orthopedic workshop, physiotherapy, social work.
Education: Diagnosis, consultation, early stimulation and orientation. A special school for children with mental disabilities was opened in 2015.
The Brothers of Charity established a new centre with an early childhood intervention unit, a physiotherapy unit, and workshop for orthopedics in 2010. Today, a school for intellectually challenged children was added to the centre. The new building came about thanks to the cooperation between the Brothers of Charity, the Belgian Government and their development aid programme, the Liliane Foundation from the Netherlands and Bro. René Stockman, Superior General of the Brothers of Charity.
The center welcomes children for diagnostic and functional assessments (orthopedics, sensory and cognitive abilities, etc.). It also has an equipment unit which manufactures prosthetics and orthotics and a rehabilitation center with follow-up of sixty children in physiotherapy. The center has set up an early stimulation program for children between 0 to 6 years with delays in psychomotor development.
This innovative approach to teaching in Rwanda is facilitated by five teachers. Mentors are trained and in turn they train other staff on early stimulation. Some families walk over an hour to accompany their child as transportation is unavailable or too expensive.
The mentally disabled children who are unable to integrate will be received in this new facility. Other children will attend surrounding schools. Some families lack appropriate parenting skills and are unable to take care of the special educational needs of their children.
Therefore, the center continues outreach to parents to make them aware of the issues of education and capabilities of their child. The goal for Children with Disabilities is to give them personal autonomy in communication, bathing, eating etc. In Rwanda, teachers receive no training in special needs education and support for Children with Disabilities. If the priority for the Rwandan government is still to build special needs education schools, the results of the center are receiving a positive response from the authorities that are learning to take better account of disability issues by visits from the leader of the district.