Children with Special Needs Programme
Currently there are approximately 45 children with special needs who are being assisted by JLtLC. The assistance covers a whole raft of different needs from physical aids to operations to periods of intense physiotherapy to improving their quality of life and to healing prayer. With God’s instruction the programme concentrates on the most severely disabled children but any child who is not able to attend school will be accepted.
This programme stated in earnest early in 2016 when some parents brought their severely handicapped children to the JLtLC office for help. The two children both had severe cerebral palsy and could not attend school but being so vulnerable they also came under the guidance God had given us for this work; “to help the most vulnerable children”. So a club was started to see how these children with special needs could be assisted. Very quickly word spread and within a few weeks the numbers of children attending reached 25. The needs of these children can vary from impaired sight to severe physical and mental needs and the number of children coming to JLtLC for help continues to rise. At the fortnightly club the children receive basic physiotherapy which the parents learn to do themselves, the children play games according to their ability, sing, interact with other children and adults, enjoy porridge, listen to a bible story, all in the presence of God. It is an occasion with lots of mental and physical stimulation and fun for the children where they can feel wanted and loved, so much better than sitting at home on their own in the villages. Some of the children have never been away from their homes before they came to the club.
The club time is a very positive experience which counteracts some of the stigma and negative reactions and comments which they and their guardians often suffer from their neighbours and communities. In their ignorance people believe that such children are cursed by God and their guardians may go to the local witchdoctor for help. The guardians enjoy the club time as they can sit and share experiences and encourage each other after being at home for long periods caring for their children.
With the help of experts every child is assessed and their physical and mental needs diagnosed. Those needs are then addressed as funds allow with prayer always surrounding these activities. To date many children have been helped with physical aids such as wheelchairs, posterior walkers and standing frames, measured leg and arm splints and also courses of treatment in the capital Kampala. Some children with hydrocephalus (three) and knock knees(one) have been sent for successful operations. Others are provided with regular medication in particular for epilepsy.Currently four children are sent to schools for children with special needs and others who have hearing and sight impairments and lesser physical disabilities would be able to attend if they had sponsors,
The children are prayed for regularly and this can include special healing meetings when the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit come to bless the children.