MISSUE NO. 3616 

April 19 - 24, 2013


 Coastweek   Kenya

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Coastweek-- Seen [from left] Joram Waweru, Skills Trainer, Joy Workshop Limuru, with Special Needs Teacher, Nsura Hassan Gakurya and students of the Nimuyumba Unit for Intellectually Challenged during the Handing Weaving skills workshop.


First Hand Weaving Project In Tiwi


Coastweek-- Students at the Nimuyumba Primary School Unit for Intellectually Challenged have embarked on Hand weaving, as a new income generating skill.

It is the first hand weaving project in the area.

Started in 1996 this Special Unit in Tiwi, on the South Coast, continually strives to develop new and interesting marketable items.

The production of attractive beaded food covers has proved a beneficial teaching tool through colour identification, counting skills, and treading designs as well as providing a much needed income generator for these challenged students and their families.

The introduction of hand weaving is thanks to the recent donation of a treadle loom to the Unit.

Coastweek-- Tiwi Nimuyumba Primary School teacher in charge Mr. Mwalago is receiving the first hand woven mat from the teachers and students of the Special Needs Unit following the successful completion of the Weaving Skills training workshop.

Currently the Unit has 22 students (16 boys and 6 girls) with 4 full time Special Needs teachers.

The curriculum includes academic and vocational living skills and physical sports, with the students integrating in the main stream school activities where possible.

The school’s Board of Governors and the Unit’s Parent /Teacher committee work hand in hand with the local community to improve the wellbeing and development of these intellectually challenged children, ranging in age from 7 years to 24 years.

Skills training workshop - In 2011 the Unit’s Parent/Teacher Committee decided to construct a basic workshop to allow the older and more advanced students the space and equipment to produce new, marketable items with an over all aim of running their own independent income generating projects.

The Parent/Teacher committee under took to cover all labour costs, with donors providing the building materials including transport at a budget of Ksh 500,000/-.

The 6 x 5 meter workshop, with a small assessment room and secure store, was built adjoining the existing Unit’s classroom and conforming to the Ministry of Education, Special Needs specifications.

Completed in mid-June 2012 the workshop/classroom is now the ‘hub’ of activity for the older students, who are extremely proud of “our workshop”.

Following the installation of the new loom and further meetings with the Teacher in Charge and the Parent /Teacher Committee a weaving design and marketing specialist, Mr Joram Waweru, from Joy Workshop Limuru ran an intensive 4 day weaving technique training at the Unit.

Basically this training allowed the Special Needs teachers the skills to teach these challenged students how to use the loom and eventually produce marketable items as an income generating source.

The reaction from parents/guardians and the community at the presentation of certificates to the teachers following the Weaving Skills Training was most commendable, with the Teacher in Charge, Mr Mwalago prising the efforts of the teachers and students in producing their first hand woven mat.

He continued “let us make Nimuyumba Primary School Special Unit a hand weaving centre of excellences here in Tiwi”.


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