My Eight weeks in Ruben Centre-Laura Saldanha
- Published: Tuesday, 02 October 2018 10:31
I have been at The Ruben Centre for 8 weeks now. Coming from a Physiotherapy Private Practice in the Perth CBD I had no idea what to expect. I knew I would be faced with challenges and confronting situations working in the middle of Mukuru Kwa Reuben Slum, but instead what was more dominant was the friendliness, vibrancy and community spirit that radiates throughout the place.
From the first day I walked in, I have been greeted every morning with handshakes and smiles from the staff and hugs and high-fives from the children. It’s such a nice way to start the day!
Working predominantly in the special needs unit has been an eye-opening experience. Here we treat conditions ranging from Cerebral Palsy to Hydrocephalus and Developmental Delay secondary to Rickets. The Occupational Therapist, Freddy is amazing. I have never met someone so dedicated to his clients. Some days he will skip morning tea and lunch, just to ensure that all his clients are seen within a reasonable time. It has been such an honor working alongside him and together we aim to provide the best possible treatment to the children and ongoing education and support to their families.
I have also had the privilege of starting up the ante-natal and post-natal Physiotherapy service at Ruben Centre. With the Maternity Unit opening up 4 months ago there has been a big need for further education and services in this area. This is certainly a work in progress, but seeing the interest and benefits to the few women I have already seen inspires me to continue.
I must also mention all the staff and mothers of my clients who have been helping me adjust to the Kenyan way of life and learn Swahili. I am ever grateful for their enthusiasm, encouragement and patience with me. There’s often plenty of laughs at my expense but I love the fun it brings to the room.
So this is 2 months into my 1 year commitment to Ruben Centre. I can’t wait to see what the next few months bring.