Founder and Executive Director of the center, Brenda Shuma was concerned that children with autism, hyperactive brain disorders and learning disabilities are less accepted in the society due to lack of inclusive policies, and vocational skills training.
Shuma, who is an occupational therapist, noted that in most African countries people tend to hide children with disabilities at home, particularly those suffering from brain disorder.
According to her such conditions can be treated through special treatment including rehabilitation. She said her organization has embarked on initiatives to help children with brain disorders through introduction of parents and caregivers’ children rehabilitation programs that are conducted at the center.
Through the programme parents are educated on how to care and deal with difficult behaviors of children with learning disabilities including autism, hyperactive brain disorders, down syndrome, among many others.
“Through our vocational training courses, children with learning disabilities will be equipped with arts and craft skills, tailoring, carpentry, welding, livestock keeping, brick making and herbal gardening”, said Shuma noting under herbal gardening children will be taught on how to produce mint, thyme, lemon grass, and rosemary grasses, among many others.
The GCRC boss described autism as a developmental disability that starts appearing in children at the age of three. She said children with autism have intellectual disability requiring specialist support, though which some children can have normal intelligence and live a relatively normal life.
According to her, the disability may impact the child’s ability to communicate and interact with others effectively and may have Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), a situation that makes a child brain to be active above normal.
Shuma said: “We need to give such training to children to make them productive in the society as well as enable them to enjoy their lives. Trainings on art & craft, gardening and cookery are taught to improve their competitiveness in the market”.
She pointed out that GCRC has been working with several societal groups including children with disabilities whereas they are equipped with entrepreneurship skills.
She appealed to parents and guardians in Kilimanjaro region not to hide their children with disabilities insisting her organization is ready to provide support to the,