The Menara (“Lighthouse”) Centre for children with special needs, part of EpiscoCare’s Education Programme, was established in 2003 in the rural area of Menouf, to stretch out a helping hand into this very poor area of the Delta, offering a safe and cheerful environment for children with special needs and their families.
The Menara Centre provides education and care for children born with mental and physical disabilities. The centre stands by the philosophy that each child is a unique person created by God and deserves support and opportunities to realise his or her potential. The Menara Centre helps the children to develop their abilities and equips them with the tools that they need to function in their families and in society.
The centre’s staff also works with the families of children with special needs to support parents and provide education about effective parenting. Raising awareness and educating parents is important, as the family needs to reinforce the behaviours taught at the centre to help their child become more independent. Staff from the centre do home visits and offer lectures and training for parents.
The vision of the Menara Centre is to assist children with special needs to become self-reliant; this is done through:
- Academic education
- Vocational training
- Life skills training to develop independence
- Speech therapy so that they can express themselves and their needs
- Physical therapy to strengthen muscles of the body
- Awareness-raising for parents and the community about special needs and how to care for children with special needs