“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ― Nelson Mandela
I’ve been interning at Multikids Foundation for the past three months. Coming into it, I didn’t realise how much it would impact my life and how I would immediately fall in love with the work they do. I have never been happier waking up and going to work, knowing it was all for something bigger than myself.
Multikids Inclusive Academy is a little school in East Legon. The school is 6 years old. What makes Multikids unique is that it is Ghana’s first and only fully inclusive school, offering mainstream education as well as special education. Multikids combines specialist creative, academic and vocational teaching and learning based on the UK national Curriculum for students from 6 months to 21 years old. What makes the environment of inclusion thrive here is the excellent therapeutic services available at the school, including physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy.
Mandy Budge, the founder of Multikids, recognised that there was a great need for institutions like this in Ghana. Multikids Inclusive Academy therefore extends their services to the community, and thanks to the inception of Multikids Foundation in 2015, children from low income families are able to access special education and therapy at the school. The foundation aims to advance and promote social and educational inclusion of children and young people with disabilities and special learning needs. Since its inception in 2015 Multikids Foundation has provided:
– Subsidies for families with a special needs child who cannot afford to pay school fees at Multikids Inclusive Academy. At the Academy, children are funded by the foundation to access therapy and special education.
– Weekly music therapy in the children’s ward and special school within the Accra Psychiatric Hospital
– Bi-weekly therapy at Multikids Academy for two children living in the Accra Psychiatric Hospital.
One of our current and most urgent projects is a Feeding Programme for the children living in the children’s ward at Accra Psychiatric Hospital. As you can imagine, many disabled children born into low income families are abandoned due to lack of education and support to care for a child with special needs. A strike in November 2016 by the nurses led to a crisis where the children were receiving little or no food. Multikids Foundation responded to this urgent situation by taking freshly cooked food to the children from Monday to Friday each week. It is very important for the children that we keep this programme going as every child has a right to healthy food that meets their nutritional needs.
I believe the work that Multikids Foundation does is very important as it aims to support special needs children who do not have a voice. This is a very vulnerable group in society and we must work together to ensure that they are treated with dignity and compassion. As I come to the end of my time in Ghana and with Multikids, I feel extremely honoured to be a part of this cause and this family. During my time here I have learnt many things; the most important one is that it is imperative for us to stand up for people who cannot do so themselves, and it is our responsibility to keep fighting for the changes we wish to see.
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If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com. You can also contact the CEO Mandy Budge directly at ABudge@multikidsgh.org.