APT KENYA is a project addressing the needs of children living with physical disabilities in Kenya by making assistive devices such as chairs, standing frames and wheelchair inserts. Not only is APT KENYA changing children's lives, it is providing an income for families. Parents from the families that The Potter's House CBO work with are employed to paper and paint the devices and this is helping them to feed their family and pay school fees for their children.
Despite the overwhelming need for such devices families rarely have access to them or can afford them. As a result, we see many children confined to their home and spending their days lying on the floor or bed unable to sit up or stand and participate in family life, or be part of the wider community.
Day after day, lay alone in the same position with no stimulation or therapy, the children can develop fixed contractures and deformities. Their life is often a lonely and painful existence. Using local people and locally sourced materials APT KENYA is providing an answer to the lack of needed equipment and is changing lives.
WHAT IS APT?
Appropriate Paper-based Technology (APT) is a low-cost, sustainable solution for bespoke postural supports for children with disabilities using recycled cardboard and paper. Items are constructed using engineering principles and are both strong and light-weight. Three layers of thick corrugated cardboard are layered and glued together using a paste made from flour and water. After cutting, the cut pieces are slotted together and then tied with strips of used nylon tights. The structure is reinforced with strips and rods of thin cardboard, which are then covered with newspaper and glue and finally thick paper, such as those used as bags for flour or animal feed. Decoration of the device completes the process.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
These devices are made to fit the individual child and help the child to maintain a comfortable and functional position in either sitting or standing. This equipment helps prevent contractures, spinal deformity and can improve digestion, bowel function and maintain skin integrity. The equipment also enables the child to play and communicate with those around them, increasing both the amount and the quality of their participation in home activities, as well as increasing independence, communication and quality of life.
You can keep up to date with what is happening in the APT workshop by following the Facebook page APT KENYA
Thank you to the following organisations who are supporting the APT KENYA project throughout 2023.