Beryl was admitted to Little Rock in January 2009. The Occupational Therapy Department at Kenyatta Hospital referred her to Little Rock after they confirmed that she had mental retardation. She was admitted to baby class - special unit where they are integrated with regular children. Her language had not developed like that of her classmates and it was very hard for the teachers and her classmates to understand and communicate with her. Apart from the language and communication barrier, Beryl was a very shy girl with a very low self-esteem.
Through a lot of love from her teachers, Beryl has opened up, her language has developed and she can now communicate with her age mates and her teachers. She can now read three letter words, draw, and name pictures of three letter words like cat, bag, dog, man, and can communicate in short English sentences. This was made possible through the extra efforts, love and one on one sessions with her teachers. Beryl now has a high self esteem because of the appreciation, encouragement and affirmation she has been getting from her teachers. She always volunteers to pray during meals in school. She can now stand before the class and lead songs during class assembly.
Little Rock has not only given Beryl an education but a holistic development. Her language has developed, she has a higher self esteem, and she can now socialize and make new friends. Beryl graduated last year together with her classmates and has now joined pearl class at Little Rock which is equivalent to class one since no primary school agreed to admit her.
Benta was admitted in Little Rock in January 2009. The Occupational Therapist took her for assessment and found that she had intellectual disability. She was integrated with other regular children in baby class. While in class, Benta would speak in her mother tongue all the time and move from one place to another interrupting the whole lesson. She also had a challenge in reading her sounds, numbers and writing.
The teacher tried showing her love, talking to her and gave her remedial classes. Through that she was able to improve; By the end of 2012, Benta was able to read and write, sound small and big words, do simple additions and subtractions. She was also able to communicate in English, and lead other children in singing during pastrol time. Benta was one of the graduates last year and she has joined pearl class at Little Rock.
Mandela is an orphan with nobody in the world to call family. When his parents were alive, they never introduced him to any relatives and inadvertently when they passed away he was left all alone. He opted to continue living in their mud house situated in the sprawling Kibera slums. The After School Programme has made a difference to young Mandela’s life. For instance, getting food was a big problem for young Mandela; With the feeding programme incorporated in the Program, Mandela can be guaranteed at least one meal a day.
Mandela could not afford any course book for school hence the library has been of absolute significance to him as he can come and study, do his homework and reference there. Moreover, the teachers have offered him insurmountable support and have become like the family he never had. From time to time, they perform home visits to check on his environmental well-being and always offering him encouragement he needs to persevere and not give up. This has contributed to his overall academic improvement. Mandela is an average student but he is a morally upright young man with an unending zeal to learn. His self-esteem and self-confidence has greatly improved and he now leads other students in group work in the classroom.
Isaac is the sixth born in a family of seven. He currently lives with his father and step-mother in Kibera. When Isaac joined Little Rock in the year 2011, he could only speak in his mother-tongue since this was the only language he knew. He was terrified of the other children who exhibited different types of disabilities and he would often scream and run away from them. Containing Isaac in class proved to be extremely difficult but with time there was a marked improvement.
After a year in school, Isaac came to enjoy school very much and he would insist on attending even on days he was feeling unwell. He also became extremely friendly with the other kids and he would even feed them, carry them and care for their well-being. With a lot of patience and love Isaac has come a long way and he is now able to hold a pencil and attempt to draw and color neatly. He has also become very responsible and diligent when it comes to caring for his property. Isaac is also very generous and strives to share what he has with the other children. His hobbies include swimming, dancing, singing and reading. He often plays the role of the teacher and guides the other children through their reading practice every morning.