A CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS IN NEPAL
PRAN LAUNCHES RESIDENTIAL COURSES
In recent years, the diagnosis, treatment and development of children with special needs has reaped huge rewards in the international community. Broadly defined as the autism spectrum, and present from early childhood, the condition is characterised by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts.
Shockingly, help for such children in Nepal is virtually non-existent. Access to remote villages leads to poor diagnosis and the lack of resources leaves families struggling to cope with pre-school youngsters who have significant developmental delay and challenging behavior patterns.
The ‘Portage and Rehabilitation Association Nepal’ (PRAN) is a home visiting service for families with children with these additional needs, from birth to school age. The organisation was set up in 2001 by Founder and Director of PRAN, Mr Mani Shrestha, who also runs the ABVK School in Banepa, a small town 12 miles east of Kathmandu. Mani’s vision is to create a centre of excellence in Banepa which, amongst many things, will train others to identify symptoms and implement his programme of early intervention for families throughout Nepal.
Just try to imagine how life would be with a new baby or young child, developmental concerns arising and no kindly GP to talk to, no specialist help to be sought, no team of advisors and care options to bring out the best in every person on the planet. This isn’t a question of breaking new ground, rather to distribute help and resources to everyone in need, wherever and whenever they need it.
As part of the 30th Anniversary Celebrations in 2014, KE Adventure Travel helped raise £20,000 by donating £5 from every holiday booking in that year and, now completed, PRAN has trained 650 volunteers, teachers and parents in 2015, with face to face induction on the Portage Programme that will now spread out through the rest of Nepal. KE Director, Glenn Rowley, visited PRAN in November 2015 and pledged additional help with £3000 worth of furniture and equipment to enable PRAN to offer residential courses for trainers and families with special needs children.
More information can be found at www.portagenepal.org.np or on the new video link.