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Early Christmas for special needs school in Kyuna

St Peter’s Day School is nestled on the hills of Kyuna in Kibagare and cares for 40 students affected by cerebral palsy, autism and downs syndrome.

For head teacher Sister Magdalene, managing and caring for the students is no easy task. To make matters even more challenging, 37 of them use wheelchairs.

“We need to have them fed, educated and offer them the therapy they need every day,” she said.

The school consists of two small classes and a larger therapy room where the children spend most of their time.

Two days ago, a group of well-wishers called the Light Up Foundation hosted a Christmas party for the youngsters. The foundation’s charity work is centered on creating a kerosene-free Kenya.

However, this time its members focused their energies on purchasing gifts for the children and setting up a Christmas tree in the sunny garden at the school.

A lunch, puppeteers, clowns as well as recreational activities were arranged for the occasion and members spent their morning with the children.

“There is a lot of stigma attached to being disabled in Kenya, and particularly in the slums where these children come from. They are often locked up in their houses by family members who are embarrassed having them around. They don’t really know what Christmas is but they know today is special,” said Sister Magdalene.

The youngest of the group is Irene and she is only three whereas 30-year-old Effrata is the oldest.

The event went on smoothly and the children looked delighted with their gifts as they bid each other goodbye for their December vacation.