La Sagesse Rehabilitation & Development Center
Children with disabilities face daily challenges
Everyone wants a place to call home with meaningful activities and a few friends to share life’s adventures with. People with disabilities want these things too, but their journey is much more difficult. Dignity, respect, education and even love are often denied them.
When a family has no steady income, a child who can’t contribute is a huge burden. A parent who is forced to stay home with their disabled child and not work could mean starvation for the entire family.
La Sagesse Center helps to fill this void. It is a day care and developmental center that provides services during the day for children with disabilities. The Center helps families living in shantytowns located beneath bridges and beside abandoned factories.
La Sagesse serves children ignored by others
La Sagesse is run by the compassionate Daughters of Wisdom who are committed to assisting families with disabled children that have no means to support them. They offer occupational therapy and life skills training to children suffering from autism, cerebral palsy, down syndrome and other developmental disabilities.
The teachers and therapists work with the children to help them accomplish daily tasks such as bathing, getting dressed and helping with simple chores. The more integrated they become at home, the more they are accepted, cared for and loved by their families. For a child with a disability, their greatest challenge is to become self-sufficient in as many areas as possible.
A personal program is designed for each child to ensure they reach their fullest potential. A social worker and guidance counselor visit each home to evaluate the living conditions and the ability of the parents to care for their disabled child. Parents are asked to participate with their child during therapy sessions and other programs so they can reinforce the lessons at home.
Medical assistance can change a life forever
At La Sagesse children learn life skills they need to survive and thrive. They are given a chance to learn and grow stronger through therapy, exercise and proper nutrition. The staff works closely with local doctors, medical clinics and dentists to arrange annual checkups and minor surgeries. For more serious operations they help the families find a sponsor.
Nearly 100 children find their way each day
Each new skill learned moves a child closer to self-sufficiency and creates a stronger family bond. The Center provides a variety of classes.
- Early intervention is available for toddlers and younger children. They learn simple activities like sitting still for a short period of time and following directions.
- Housekeeping skills are essential for self-sufficiency. Setting the table, sweeping the floor, doing laundry and cooking are major accomplishments for many of these children. The Center has a classroom that represents different areas of a home such as a bedroom, bathroom, dining table and kitchen. The children beam with every accomplishment they master.
- The Angel Hands program is a vocational workshop that teaches crafts to the students. They learn how to weave baskets, make paper mache sculptures and string beads into necklaces to sell.
- Occupational Therapy sessions are conducted to develop motor skills and increase their level of self-reliance.
- Art classes encourage the children to express their feelings by designing artworks which are made into calendars and postcards to give as gifts to donors.
- Educational classes in math, science and English are provided for students with verbal skills.
- Career Guidance is provided to students who master simple skills such as working in a laundry, gardening or stocking shelves. Their earnings are safely tracked by the teachers and given to their families.
- Counseling with parents and siblings is a critical component to help them accept their disabled family member.
Meet Stevey and Cyra
Stevey is a severely autistic adult. He arrived at the school when he was eight years old and unable to communicate or perform any simple tasks. The teachers and therapists designed a program that helped him learn new tasks every month. Stevey started by learning how to brush his teeth and wash his face. With each successful activity his teachers moved him on to more difficult tasks such as setting the kitchen table. This year Stevey sat in the front row of his graduation ceremony with his proud parents. After graduating he accepted a full-time job at La Sagesse to assist with gardening and janitorial duties.
Cyra shows all the classic signs of autism. She can’t look you in the eye when she talks and excessively focuses on one object. She is very intelligent though and can verbally communicate well. She is a gifted artist and creates most of the artwork used in the Center’s annual calendar. She is currently taking a computer class and is an excellent candidate for a job with one of the local companies once she graduates.
Specialized care comes with a cost
La Sagesse asks parents to pay whatever they can afford. Some pay nothing and most of them can only afford to pay a few dollars each year. While their children are in classes, the parents volunteer by sweeping, cleaning and helping with classroom activities.
This does not begin to cover the costs to employ all the special education teachers, occupational therapists and the day to day operational expenses of the Center.
Ongoing medical care and therapy shape their future
Children with disabilities are more susceptible to diseases and infections.
- $1,400 per month pays for one occupational therapist
- $1,400 per month would enable them to hire a needed physical therapist
- $200 per month pays for medicine and medical emergencies
- $100 per month provides clean water for the therapeutic pool
No child ever goes home hungry
Many of the children bring their own lunch, a few buy hot meals in the cafeteria and others rely on the Center for their only meal of the day.
- $500 per month ensures that these children receive a nutritious lunch
- $300 per month covers the cost of the cafeteria staff
- $200 per month provides clean drinking water
**A one-time donation of $575 is needed to buy an oven and $2,300 is needed for a freezer**
Learning life skills is a big step toward self-sufficiency
Students work to master simple skills that enable them to help at home. Upon graduation many of the students work at the Center doing janitorial jobs and helping younger students.
- $3,000 per month supports 10 of the 28 teachers, therapists and caregivers
- $500 per month covers the cost of books and school supplies
- $400 per month provides craft supplies
Operational costs keep the Center clean and secure
The operational costs provide a safe, sanitary and secure Center for the children.
- $2,500 per month pays for operational expenses and maintenance of the four-story Center
- $200 per month covers the cost of repairing everything from computers to garden tools
- $100 per month enables the Center to provide public transportation for the families
Each little step mastered is a giant leap forward. Your support tells each child they matter.
All Children, Inc. is a 501(c)3 global nonprofit organization that protects, empowers and advocates for at-risk children living in extreme poverty. Our main objective is to provide medical care, nutrition, education and shelter with attention to children with mental and physical disabilities.
Reaching vulnerable children early in life and meeting their physical and spiritual needs equips them to lead fuller lives. Caregivers and community leaders with proven long-term success lead our programs to create a healthy family environment.
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3595 Engineering Drive
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