- Equality: All people, with or without disabilities deserve equal rights, equal respect, and equal access to opportunities.
- Collaboration: We collaborate with families to help their children, we collaborate with each other as a team of multidisciplinary professionals, and we collaborate with other NGOs, community members, and donors to support our clients.
- Potential: We believe that every child, every family, every community, and every Safe Haven team member has unmet potential that should be nurtured and supported.
- Quality of Life: All people deserve the highest possible quality of life, including children with disabilities and their families.
- Professionalism: Safe Haven aims for a high standard of professionalism in all our interactions and activities.
Supporting children at home
We visit children and families at home to ensure that we provide support that is culturally appropriate and suitable for their life style, unique needs and home environment. We also call families in between home visits to follow up and check on their progress and health status.
We provide physical therapy and teach parents how to do exercises and activities that will improve their child’s strength, range of motion and functioning. We provide walking frames, standing frames, special seating, and wheelchairs because the right equipment can make a huge difference to a child’s safety, comfort, and function, as well as activities to improve their fine motor skills and function.
We provide nursing services including health assessments and basic medications to treat minor illness and injuries. We teach parents how to use a thermometer, treat a fever, use medicines safely, perform first aid, and access local health resources.
We provide nutritional supplements to children with feeding and swallowing difficulties, who frequently experience chronic malnutrition and protein deficiency due to their inability to eat normally.
We educate parents about avoiding traditional healing practices that may be harmful, while trying to be respectful of culture.
Through our interventionist services, we teach families, neighbors and friends that despite their disability, their child can learn. We educate parents about the value of stimulation and verbal interaction. We provide toys to encourage fine and gross motor skills and cognitive skills. We demonstrate how to play with their children and encourage their efforts to do the same. We encourage siblings to join in and help them feel included in our visits.
We teach about child development, why children do what they do and how parents can encourage the best of that behavior.
We answer their questions, showing them that we care and that their children are worth our time and attention
Through our social work services, we address healthy family relationships and identify local organizations within the community that can assist in the comprehensive outreach services we provide to each child and family. Our social worker team protects these vulnerable children, works to ensure their rights and safety and supports our families in need of assistance.
Advocating for medical treatment and ongoing support
We pay for transportation for families to bring their children to the hospital, the dentist or the rehabilitation center. We accompany families on all of their medical appointments to explain what is happening and help them understand more about their child’s condition. We also make sure they know how to give medicine appropriately, when they need to return for follow-up, and what to do if their child’s condition changes.
We advocate for children and families at the local hospital. We show that it’s OK to ask questions of doctors, and we ask questions on the family’s behalf when they’re not comfortable doing so themselves. We consult with doctors in person and by email. We maintain close contact with the family when their child is hospitalized and provide appropriate follow-up care at home.
We provide money to cover the cost of food when a child is hospitalized, as hospitals here cannot provide meals to children or their family members who must stay with them at all times.
We provide rehab equipment and adjust that equipment as a child grows and their needs change. We bring children and families to the government rehab center to get prosthetics, to the audiologist for hearing aids if needed, and to the dentist for much-needed dental care.
We educate about safety and children’s rights and the importance of education. We refer families to other services that may be able to help with needs we cannot meet. We celebrate achievements and milestones, and help families understand that they are their child’s best resource and advocate.
Preventative health and hygiene
We try to improve the overall health of our families by providing water filters and teaching them how to use and maintain them properly. We teach tooth brushing and provide toothbrushes and toothpaste as well as vitamins and de-worming medications. We teach about hygiene and its relationship to health.
We encourage families to vaccinate their children at their local health center.
We monitor and educate about safety at home in an environment that includes open fires, unrestricted access to machetes, open water, and animals roaming the village.
Sharing our work
We take photos to post – with parents’ permission – to raise awareness about Safe Haven. We give copies of photos to families; some of whom may not have any photos of their children.
We keep a wish list of useful donations and then provide much-needed items to families when available.
We share our achievements and successes as well as lessons we’ve learnt with our supporters, as well as partners in the local community.
Most important of all…
We let families know that there are other families out there with children just like theirs.
We talk to parents about how they’re feeling, what they worry about, what the future might hold, what decisions they might face.
We smile and laugh and play with their children and remark on how beautiful they are. We notice aloud how hard the parents are working to help their children and what a difference it makes.
If you believe in our approach and would like to support our work, please consider making a tax deductible donation to help us keep the Safe Haven Medical Outreach Program running.
View our Annual Report here