The main aim of our activity centre is to offer a place of unconditional acceptance and inclusion for all who attend. The centre offers a place for friendships to be formed in a safe environment, free from harassment, exclusion and abuse that sadly many of our service users experience in their day to day lives.
The Activity Centre offers lots of activities that encompass fun, new and different experiences and where skills are learnt.
Our young people enjoy a cooked nutritional meal
Support Workers safely pick up and return our service users on a daily basis, sometimes covering 100km radius in one day.
Person Centred Plans
Each of our service users has a person centred plan to meet their individual needs, our service users have each, wherever possible, been fully involved in the making of their PCP which encompasses where they are now, where they want to be and how they are going to get there to full fill the hopes, dreams and aspirations.
The PCP’s help support workers and volunteers to understand the level of support that each service user needs.
Parent Support Groups
The parent support group has been a valuable extension of our service in empowering and again acceptance of parents of our service users, to be accepted without blame has made them feel a sense of purpose and a sense of belonging, to meet other parents has brought them together in a way that many of us may not understand.
Many of our parents have had to live with social exclusion from families and communities, blame and cultural rituals have been imposed on them to be rid of demons and bad spirits, the lack of support for parents, often dealing with their own confusion, guilt and knowledge around syndromes and conditions is difficult to come to terms with.
Working alongside village elders and ten cell leaders, in rural areas we are offering support, advice, education and help to many families who are living with a child or adult with a learning difficulty. For some the starkness and reality of their lives is overwhelming as they struggle on a daily basis with no infra structures to offer the fundamental needs of food, adequate housing, water, clothing, educational needs, equipment, furniture, aids and adaptions, behaviour strategies, medication and for some much needed life sustaining operations.
Very few people with learning difficulties have a formal diagnosis, this attached to the stigma and social exclusion that many mothers and their children experience remains alien to our western mind set of equality and inclusion for all.
Our parent support group has also facilitated training and educated parents of the facts about disability, why a person may be downs syndrome or cerebral palsy or autistic……and this has led to a new sense of empowerment and acceptance of their own children/young person.
Social Inclusion days are just…
This is where our service users either:
Have a 1-1 outing with their friend (support worker). They visit places of interest, go out to the towns or city, have a meal, experiences new things, take positive risks and most importantly feel accepted and included in everyday life.
Make memories with the Nations Together community by having a group trip to the beautiful places that Tanzania has to offer, check out our photos of our special days for both young person and their mum, dad or grandparent.
Although we would love to be able to say that these days are accepted by the community as a whole, the reality is that our Support Workers and service users are sometimes the victims of verbal abuse and stone throwing as they travel on local transport and visit local places, for example: if seats are taken on local transport our service users may be told to move and stand. Our support workers have a duty of care to then move into protective and advocate mode and verbally fight for the rights of our young people.
I hasten to add that this is a minority of the community and on the flip side of this quite often people have been curious, asking questions about the organisation and then welling up with tears of gratitude, leading them to visit our activity centre with gifts of rice and sugar…..and of course this in turn raises awareness about the rights of people with a disability living in Tanzania.