Chance To Shine

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With your help, Sense International is raising £425,000 to fund sight and hearing tests for children in rural Kenya and support those children identified with deafblindness. All donations made between 1 January to 31 March 2020 as part of the ‘Chance To Shine’ appeal will be doubled by the UK government. Match funding from the UK government will provide vital support to children with deafblindness in rural Kenya and public donations will go towards Sense International’s work around the world.

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.

International Development Secretary, Alok Sharma, said: “Every child deserves a healthy start to life, which is why we are backing Sense International to provide vital care for children with deafblindness in rural Kenya.

“Each donation made by the generous UK public to the Chance to Shine appeal will be matched pound for pound by the UK government, doubling the difference made for those most in need.”

Donate a gift to Chance to Shine now! >>

Bravin’s story

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

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 

How you can make a difference

From donations of money and clothing to sponsored fitness challenges and cake sales, there are many ways in which you, and your friends and family, can support the appeal:

What your money could buy UKAM logo

Donate to Sense International today to give children with deafblindness a ‘Chance To Shine’ and donations made between 1 January and 31 March 2020 will be doubled by the UK government. Match funding from the UK government will provide vital support to children with deafblindness in rural Kenya and public donations will go towards Sense International’s work around the world.

  • £3.50 tests one child in rural Kenya for sight and hearing impairments
  • £10.50 trains one Community Health Volunteer to provide community-based testing for sight and hearing impairments and therapeutic support for children in rural Kenya
  • £12 trains one parent to provide home-based therapy to support their child including activities to support communication, orientation and mobility, activities of daily life, exercise and play
  • £46 provides assistive devices (such as hearing aids and/or glasses) for one child
  • £127.50 establishes one community screening point to ensure all children in Garissa and Kwale have access to sight and hearing tests
  • £322 provides early intervention therapy for one child with sight and hearing impairments to develop their communication and mobility skills
  • £1,500 provides specialist therapy and sensory stimulation equipment for one early intervention unit
  • £7,500 builds one Early Intervention Unit to provide facilities for screening and early intervention, and therapeutic activities by occupational therapists
  • £10,000 covers the recruitment and training of one Occupational Therapist to coordinate screening and early intervention services including counselling and speech therapy

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 Sospter

“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 says. “They gave us a new hope and purpose for our baby.”

Find out how we supported Sospter 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.