Skip Content

Charles's story

Charles is seven years old and has been diagnosed as being deafblind. At three months, he had an eye operation because of cataracts.

He was also found to have severe hearing loss in his right ear and profound hearing loss in his left ear. He has also had a heart operation at Kenyatta National Hospital.

Charles lives with his mother and father in the Maziwa-Imara estate, around 50km from the centre of Nairobi. The whole family lives in a small, single room and live below the poverty line.

Charles playing in the sand with another schoolchild and teacher

Sense International has worked with Charles since he was three years old through our community support programme. At first, Charles was unable to communicate with his family, was often unsocial and confused and unable to walk.

However, the Sense International programme has taught him basic communication skills, including local sign language and activities for daily living and mobility skills.

In April 2014 Charles moved across to an education programme and in September 2014 began at Kilimani primary school so he now spends five full days in school and spends the weekends at home.

The communication training Charles has received has enabled his personality to shine through. Today, he is very happy and curious, friendly and engaging and he has a good sense of his environment. He loves toy cars and is very sociable.

His mum, Mwende, says;

“Charles’s condition really gave me sleepless nights. I didn’t know what to do. Thanks to Sense International, he can now stay in school for five days a week.


This gives him an education which is consistent as well as giving me a chance to carry out a small business of selling second hand clothes for a small profit.”

First published: Friday 7 June 2013
Last updated: Wednesday 20 September 2017