Therapy Biographies

Beatrice Swai - Neema Crafts resident Physiotherapist

I am Tanzanian although I grew up in Nairobi in Kenya. I did all my schooling in Kenya before joining the School of Physiotherapy at Kilamanjaro Christian Maedical Centre (K.C.M.C.) where I received my diploma of physiotherapy. I was approached by Neema Crafts Centre who were looking for a physiotherapist and invited me to visit and see what they were all about. When I arrived I found it amazing how the physically challenged workers were carrying out their day to day activities and how they have adapted to their environment and the same with the deaf participants, especially the chefs (it was fantastic how they had learnt to serve such delicious meals in their cafe). It was a new experience for me and after this I was convinced I wanted to work here. We sat down with the director to discuss the aspirations of Neema Crafts in starting a Physiotherapy programme to help young children get early interventions to enable them to live a better and more comfortable life. The job was just what I had been wanting in my heart and with God's Grace I was employed at Neema Crafts as their first full time physiotherapist.

Iringa is a small town where the percentage of disability is very high, especially among young children. The physiotherapy centre is a great service to make the world a better place for so many children.

We have, at the time I am writing this, 110 children coming for therapy and we also visit Isimani village where we have a door to door service called Community Based rehabilitation (CBR). We have 6 children within this village presently involved in the CBR programme and are often finding new children, having started with one child initially two and a half years ago. If we can find the funding we can start this in many other villages as the demand is there with no one to meet the needs at present. This is the part of my work which is most pressing on my heart. Every child we find and help makes it easier for other families to come forward and admit that they have a disabled child hidden at home.

I hope, together with the team at Neema Crafts Centre, to continue helping as many children as possible and to develop the physiotherapy service as best we can.

Working at Neema Crafts is an amazing experience that one can never forget. It is a wonderful, wonderful Centre filling such a huge need.