Chance To Shine

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Thank you to everyone who donated to the Chance to Shine appeal during January and March 2020. Thanks to your support, the appeal raised £813,365, including £383,794 of match funding by the UK government. Match funding will pay for sight and hearing tests for 55,000 children in rural Kenya, and provide vital support to children with deafblindness in their early years.

In Kenya, children with deafblindness rarely get the support they need. Many will lead short, lonely lives, hidden away by parents who may not know how to support them and are fearful of the reaction of the local community. Without support, these children will face a lifetime of loneliness and isolation, struggling with mobility and communication, unable to form the most basic connections with those around them. Sense International’s ‘Chance To Shine’ appeal is changing that.

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What Sense International will achieve with your support

Building on more than 20 years of experience, Sense International will transform lives in rural Kenya by providing vital support to children identified with deafblindness. With your support we will:

  • Establish sight and hearing tests in 40 health facilities across the counties of Kwale and Garissa
  • Build four specialist Early Intervention Units to test and provide support to children with deafblindness
  • Train hundreds of volunteers to be able to conduct sight and hearing tests and deliver support in their local communities
  • Test 55,000 children for sight and hearing impairments
  • Provide personalised support to children identified with deafblindness, including physical therapy and access to specialist services
  • Enable parents and caregivers to provide support and physical therapy to their child at home
  • Advocate for local governments in Kenya to invest in testing and support for children with sight and hearing impairments. This includes helping local governments in Kenya to develop action plans to adopt and sustain sensory screening and early intervention 

Bravin's story

A young boy sitting on his mother's lap with a sensory toy in his hand

Three-year-old Bravin, who was born blind and with complex needs, faced these challenges. Fortunately, Bravin’s mother Naomi found the support she needed when aBravin’s story

nurse introduced her to the Sense International Kenya team at her local health clinic.

A support group, which Naomi continues to attend, provides an environment for Naomi to meet with other mothers and share their experiences of raising their children.

For two and a half years, Bravin has benefitted from therapy, learning to explore his surroundings and communicate with his mother. The family are also visited by a Sense International Kenya-trained occupational therapist, who is supporting Bravin to learn how to walk without support.

With Bravin due to start speech therapy and education, the future looks bright for the family. But Bravin is one of the lucky ones and received his chance to shine.

Sospeter sitting on the floor. A man is holding a colour little ball in front of his face that Sospeter is looking at. Meet 3-year old Sospeter

“We were heartbroken after learning that our baby was deaf and could not develop at the pace of other children [...] meeting the team at Sense International Kenya was the turning point for the family,” Tabby, Sospeter's mother, says. “They gave us a new hope and purpose for our baby.”

Find out how we supported Sospeter and his family as part of our screening and early intervention programme. 

UK Aid Match

UK Aid Match brings charities, the British public and the UK government together to collectively change the lives of some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. It is designed to provide opportunities for the UK public to engage with international development issues and to allow the British public to have a say in how UK aid is spent, whilst boosting the impact of the very best civil society projects to reach the poorest people in developing countries. Visit the UK Aid Match website for more information.

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First published: Monday 8 June 2020
Last updated: Wednesday 9 December 2020