Special Needs Education

HCU is staging a special needs intervention at the only local orphanage for children with Nodding Syndrome. For the child-victims, we will provide language and music therapy, and our menstrual health program. We will expand the capacity of the center to treat more beneficiaries, and scale up the existing administration’s medical management and political advocacy skills. We will teach the surrounding community about Nodding Syndrome with a right-based approach to remove the taboo around NS.

The issue: The Odek Center is the only government-recognized Rehabilitation Center for the child-victims of Nodding Syndrome in the entire Northern Uganda, but discontinued funding from the center’s foreign founders and the local government is forcing the center to close. 70 children would be left without the care they need, and 8 staff caretakers would be left unemployed, increasing social and economic stress on the NS victims’ families and community of Odek.

The initiative: 

1. Provide psychological and social support to restore for families of children affected by Nodding syndrome.
2. Provide rehabilitation services with occupational, physio, speech, language, and music therapy to improve and restore lost abilities and improve livelihoods.
3. Build the capacity of office duty bearers / leaders to advocate for better health services delivery for children affected by nodding syndrome.

The impact: 

The nature of the aforementioned objectives is to ensure long-term sustainability. We provide the community with the education to understand Nodding Syndrome and how to cope with it. We equip local leaders and center admins with the tools they need to better advocate for themselves for future funding, plus our Agro-business model for nutritious food and a source of revenue. We also provide the children with the rehabilitative care they need to recover and live as normal lives as possible.