It was jubilation at the Likii Special School in Nanyuki town, Laikipia County, on Friday as the Nation Media Group team visited.
During the visit, NMG staff, led by Nyeri Regional Editor Lucas Barasa interacted and dined with the 157 pupils before presenting them with mobility assistive devices, beads, dummy heads, an dummy bodies, among other learning materials.
The items distributed included wheelchairs and art and craft materials.
The head dummies are to assist the learners in hair dressing skills.
The school’s principal, Ms Irene Mbijiwe, welcomed the initiative, noting that it was timely because institutions are implementing the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC).
“As a special school, our learning is intense since we are dealing with children who are autistic, intellectually challenged and others with cerebral palsy,” she said, adding that owing to the health of the pupils, the items usually don’t last long.
The special school teaches courses such as hair and beauty, mat weaving and culinary skills to children aged six and above drawn from different regions across the country.
“Most of the pupils are from needy backgrounds and their parents’ contributions can hardly support the school’s costly materials required in teaching our courses. Thus, whenever we get government funding, we find ourselves going for basic necessities like food for our pupils,” said the school’s principal.
Speaking during the event, Mr Barasa said the donation is part of NMG’s contribution to uplifting education and ensuring an informed society.
“Our aim is to transform the society,” said Mr Barasa, who was flanked by NMG Business Solutions Manager Duncan Mbuthia and Head of Circulation and Distribution George Kihuria.
NMG also runs the Newspapers in Education (NiE) initiative, which aims at empowering all children, including the differently abled, through education.
“Our wish is that all children reach the peak of their development and live the most dignified life that they can. And that is why we are here today to lend our support,” Mr Barasa said.
“We hope that with these donations – the dummy heads, art and craft supplies from beads and colouring materials, books and wheelchairs from Rani, among others, we will contribute to the development of each student here,” he added.
Schools subscribed to the NiE programme receive the Daily Nation and Taifa Leo newspapers annually and take part in the company’s activations, which show pupils how to use the newspapers as learning materials.
“We do this to ensure the next generation has the best opportunity to succeed in life — Seeing examples of other children in the stories, understanding the different paths to the life they want to live, and instilling the right values and skills through our content,” said Mr Barasa.
NMG also runs other health and environment programmes as a way of giving back to the society.
In the donation to schools with special needs programme, NMG partnered with the Rani Ramchandani initiative, an organisation that works with people with disability.
Ms Ramchandan, the organisation’s founder, noted that many children with special needs rarely get the attention and support they require and most of them are neglected.
“These children have their own needs, yet few people in the community think about them. We aim at filing this gap and so far we have donated 5,000 mobility devices across the country,” said Ms Ramchandan.
The Mukesh organisation also joined hands with NMG.
The event preceded the Nation Golf Series set for Nanyuki on Saturday that has attracted tens of participants.
The NMG team also planted trees at the school as part of conserving the environment.
Speakers at the event called on well-wishers to assist the public school sink a borehole.
There were also calls for increase of tutors to the school that has 13 teachers and 15 other staff.
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