You gave Khalili a chance to shine! 

27 February 2024

We’re thrilled to share the incredible impact of your support for Sense International during our ‘Chance to Shine’ appeal between January and March 2020. Together, we raised an astonishing £813,365 – including £383,794 of match funding from the UK government. This funding has been instrumental in providing vital sight and hearing tests for children in rural Kenya. 

In Kenya, children with deafblindness often face significant hurdles in receiving adequate support. Sense International’s ‘Chance to Shine’ project is rewriting these narratives. One such inspiring story is Khalili’s. 

Khalili faced a challenging start, born breech with spine damage and fetal distress, spending his early months in and out of hospitals. 

Khalili was eventually referred to Sense International Kenya’s screening programme and diagnosed with deafblindness. Through Sense International’s intervention, Khalili received tailored occupational therapy, involving muscle strengthening along with light and audio stimulation.  

Today, Khalili’s progress is inspiring. From learning to sit and stand to responding to audio cues and flashing lights. His parents, Saumu and Naseed, are overjoyed by Khalili’s progress, his ability to recognize them, and his infectious laughter.   

When asked about the hopes and dreams they have for Khalili, Saumu said: ‘We can see a lot changes. He now laughs and coos at me when I do the daily therapy exercises with him. He also actually recognises me as his mother, which fills me with joy.’ 

The impact doesn’t stop with Khalili; it extends to 147 children with complex disabilities benefitting from specialist early intervention therapy. These children were identified from over 84,000 children who received sensory screening, greatly exceeding our target of screening 55,000 children. We also trained 160 health facility staff and 334 community health volunteers, fostering awareness and support within communities. 

Sense International’s efforts have gone beyond therapy; we’ve equipped all 147 families with tablet devices loaded with instructional videos on homebased therapy and aided in adapting home environments for children with disabilities. Moreover, our collaboration with Garissa and Kwale Counties ensures a sustainable, long-term impact by integrating Sensory Screening and Early Intervention objectives into their county development plans. 

Khalili’s story in the video below reflects the transformative power of early intervention. With your ongoing support, we can give even more children with deafblindness the chance to shine.