Features: Meknes Cheshire Home

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At the Meknes Cheshire Home they had been very proactive, circulating our story to 7 local newspapers - everyone had been waiting with baited breath to see if we were actually going to make it.

Mike Cloud and his wife Safaa were very hospitable; we were fed, watered and given a cool bed in the basement. Half way through my shower the water was cut off, there I was a soapy mess with nothing but a towel to rinse me off. The Meknes authorities cut the water off at about 10.30 each evening, we had been warned but this evening it was 20 min early. I was nice and clean, suggesting that Sue sleep in another bed was not received too well!

Our Schedule for Thursday had been planned. Breakfast at 10 am at Mike's favourite Café - Tulip, salted meat in egg cooked in a Tajine dish accompanied by Banana juice and coffee. Sue had to make do with bread and jam being allergic to eggs. Whilst breakfasting Mike treated Bumble to a wash, the rain shower each evening in Gibraltar had been full of Sahara sand.

11 am we arrived at the Cheshire Home.

centre meknes

Mike Cloud , Administrator, standing outside the centre.

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The rest of the gang with the visitors.


Founded 4 years ago by Greg Gibbel an American Physiotherapist who was invited to set-up the home by local medics and businessmen after his success in Marrakech.

The home caters for 160 children mainly with Cerebral Palsy, each attending 3 sessions a week. Mothers accompany the children, where they learn how to administer therapy/exercises, are educated in Cerebral Palsy and meet other mothers with children in the same situation. Other members of the family are also encouraged to attend enabling them to understand their sibling's predicament.

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Children are encouraged to attend from 4 months up until 12 years of age

It is the aim to offer these children the chance of maximum recovery during this time, enabling them to attend school and finally lead independent lives. There is such a wide range of levels of cerebral palsy that with all the success there will be a small number of tragic tales.

Disability is still somewhat of a taboo in Moroccan culture, some thoughts are of a punishment from God. Not so long ago children would be hidden away, not only from the world but also their immediate family. Pre-natal and anti-natal care is poor and therefore cerebral palsy is more common.

Leonard Cheshire provided a donation to start the home and also the use of their name and from then on they were very much self sufficient. Much funding is received from the UK and more recently donations from Spain. Many sponsors have insisted that funding also be found within Morocco which we are glad to report is on the increase supported by a drive from the present King Mohammed VI. A telethon was held this year, similar to those in England to raise funds for the disabled, previously unheard of.

The Home provides a very inviting and relaxed atmosphere for mothers and children. Chaka caused quite a stir, dogs are usually found on the streets and are best avoided, a first for the home. I explained that in England we have 'patting dogs', which are used in hospitals to aid patients recovery. It took a little while before one of the helpers brought a child up to pat Chaka.

patting dog

Chaka enjoying his new role as a 'Patting Dog'.

We were introduced to the staff, Fatima - Director supported by 5 helpers which included Sharon a qualified nurse from Canada and Sandra a qualified physiotherapist from the USA who has recently joined the team after completing a 3 month course in Arabic.

A surprise - it was Sue's birthday (thank you to those people who sent cards to us in Meknes.) and everyone had bought a present. Sue was sung happy birthday in three languages Arabic, French and finally English.

meknes happy birthday

Sue was presented with a Moroccan 'tajine dish'

tajine

After the celebrations, cake and fizzy drinks, Mike felt it beneficial for me to give a talk about our trip, ourselves and more importantly a motivational talk about my injuries, how I overcame them and my progress todate.

meknes speach

Hicham an English teacher and father of a disabled child translated during the talk.

In all I spoke to 3 different sessions

meknes speach2

As always the home has limited resources, can only cater for children with cerebral palsy, has a capacity of 160 with many more on the waiting list.

Anybody who wishes to make a donation please contact the home direct:

Banque Populaire Meknes, Agence : Alexandrie - Meknes
Compte No. 2111658252380008
Telex : 41.606 - Tel : 212 5 52 14 83

Sue, Chaka and myself would like to thank the Cheshire Home Meknes for allowing us to visit them, the impromptu birthday party for Sue and especially Mike Cloud and his family for their hospitality.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - enableafrica.net expedition team

Mike Cloud and his wife Safaa were very hospitable; we were fed, watered and given a cool bed in the basement. Half way through my shower the water was cut off, there I was a soapy mess with nothing but a towel to rinse me off. The Meknes authorities cut the water off at about 10.30 each evening, we had been warned but this evening it was 20 min early. I was nice and clean, suggesting that Sue sleep in another bed was not received too well!

Our Schedule for Thursday had been planned. Breakfast at 10 am at Mike's favourite Café - Tulip, salted meat in egg cooked in a Tajine dish accompanied by Banana juice and coffee. Sue had to make do with bread and jam being allergic to eggs. Whilst breakfasting Mike treated Bumble to a wash, the rain shower each evening in Gibraltar had been full of Sahara sand.

11 am we arrived at the Cheshire Home.

Mike Cloud , Administrator, standing outside the centre.

The rest of the gang with the visitors.


Founded 4 years ago by Greg Gibbel an American Physiotherapist who was invited to set-up the home by local medics and businessmen after his success in Marrakech.

The home caters for 160 children mainly with Cerebral Palsy, each attending 3 sessions a week. Mothers accompany the children, where they learn how to administer therapy/exercises, are educated in Cerebral Palsy and meet other mothers with children in the same situation. Other members of the family are also encouraged to attend enabling them to understand their sibling's predicament.

Children are encouraged to attend from 4 months up until 12 years of age.

It is the aim to offer these children the chance of maximum recovery during this time, enabling them to attend school and finally lead independent lives. There is such a wide range of levels of cerebral palsy that with all the success there will be a small number of tragic tales.

Disability is still somewhat of a taboo in Moroccan culture, some thoughts are of a punishment from God. Not so long ago children would be hidden away, not only from the world but also their immediate family. Pre-natal and anti-natal care is poor and therefore cerebral palsy is more common.

Leonard Cheshire provided a donation to start the home and also the use of their name and from then on they were very much self sufficient. Much funding is received from the UK and more recently donations from Spain. Many sponsors have insisted that funding also be found within Morocco which we are glad to report is on the increase supported by a drive from the present King Mohammed VI. A telethon was held this year, similar to those in England to raise funds for the disabled, previously unheard of.

The Home provides a very inviting and relaxed atmosphere for mothers and children. Chaka caused quite a stir, dogs are usually found on the streets and are best avoided, a first for the home. I explained that in England we have 'patting dogs', which are used in hospitals to aid patients recovery. It took a little while before one of the helpers brought a child up to pat Chaka.


Chaka enjoying his new role as a 'Patting Dog'.

We were introduced to the staff, Fatima - Director supported by 5 helpers which included Sharon a qualified nurse from Canada and Sandra a qualified physiotherapist from the USA who has recently joined the team after completing a 3 month course in Arabic.

A surprise - it was Sue's birthday (thank you to those people who sent cards to us in Meknes.) and everyone had bought a present. Sue was sung happy birthday in three languages Arabic, French and finally English.


Sue was presented with a Moroccan 'tajine dish'


After the celebrations, cake and fizzy drinks, Mike felt it beneficial for me to give a talk about our trip, ourselves and more importantly a motivational talk about my injuries, how I overcame them and my progress todate.

photo
Hicham an English teacher and father of a disabled child translated during the talk.

In all I spoke to 3 different sessions


As always the home has limited resources, can only cater for children with cerebral palsy, has a capacity of 160 with many more on the waiting list.

Anybody who wishes to make a donation please contact the home direct:

Banque Populaire Meknes, Agence : Alexandrie - Meknes
Compte No. 2111658252380008
Telex : 41.606 - Tel : 212 5 52 14 83

Sue, Chaka and myself would like to thank the Cheshire Home Meknes for allowing us to visit them, the impromptu birthday party for Sue and especially Mike Cloud and his family for their hospitality.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - enableafrica.net expedition team