Featherstale Children's Village
Why Do We Need Feathers Tale?
Feathers Tale Children’s Village was conceived and started, due to what we learned from our community support work with the children’s fund. As time progressed we began to identify certain children who could not be supported in the community, or with guardians and foster families.
About the village
At the core of Feathers Tale are children with special needs and disabilities. Due to the demands of poverty, work and no support, parents with special needs children often have no choice but to leave their children alone whilst they work, and for all neglect can occur intentionally, it also occurs unintentionally with it.
Some parents are sadly even made homeless by the demands of raising a special needs child alone, which is how our first special needs child arrived at our gates.
We Are In High Demand!
At present Featherstale has a waiting list to try and get in. Our outreach teams are working tirelessly to support those waiting whilst we expand and find space.
Residents: 65 Special needs children currently reside at Featherstale. Their needs range from Down Syndrome, to cerebral Palsy, deaf blind children, hydrocephalus, spina bifida, and other developmental issues.
10+ Single mothers with their special needs children, who also given their ability to deal with special needs children, are all employed as caregivers for those children in our care without a parent to care for them.
How Is It A Solution For Special Needs Children Without Parents & Single Parents With Special Needs Children?
Having a small community where parents with special needs children can live with one another is initially a way for both the parent/guardians to have support from one another, given they are sharing in the same experiences in life to some degree
The single parents can work either for us as caregivers if there is an opening, or they have quality day care whilst they go out to work elsewhere.
Whilst living in house, qualified staff such as special needs teachers, physios and occupational therapists and nurses, can educate the single mothers, which allows for a great benefit to the children from hands on professional help, or from the care givers also.
The children who never get to socialize with other special needs children, have daily interactions with others in the same position physically and mentally as they are. A hugely important part of life of course. Especially in a country with very few roads that are accessible for the disabled.
When parents need to do simple tasks, perhaps wash clothing, go shopping, cook or even work... then they are surrounded by people who are qualified to care for a special needs child, people who have the patience and understanding to care for such children, given they too are the parents and guardians of a child with special needs.
The communal buildings allow for education, play and socializing to take place, among the children, and the single mothers that live in the community. Social interaction for all of us is important as a species, but for isolated sectors of society such as special needs children and parents of, it is perhaps even more so.
Our on site staff counsellors and social workers keep a constant check on the children, and provide valuable rehabilitation be it from direct contact with the children, or educating and counselling their single mothers and or guardians.
Our on sight physiotherapist and Occupational Therapist help with rehabilitating children and teaching them to walk etc if possible. Also, our occupational therapy can help children to develop in other ways, such as mental functioning, socialising and sensory and motor skill development.
Children don't need to be separated from mothers that clearly, as with most mothers on earth, love them.
As we have the vehicle with the NGO, emergency transport for medical issues is always available, whereas without it most children are close to an hour from a hospital, at night time that could be 8 hours +, as all our residents would have to wait for the public transport to start.
Children receive physio, wheelchairs, sensory stimulation.. rather than being left on the floor somewhere, ( as is the only option to most families..) meaning they have a life worth something. A day to wake up excited about as it were.
There are many more benefits, but these are key... lastly and perhaps more importantly, finally single parents with such children will have an option, and hopefully in time, less special needs children will be abandoned here by desperate parents in need of help.
Eco Living At Feathers Tale
At Feathers Tale we grow a lot of our own food for the residents. We are also an off the grid community using solar power.
By 2025 we aim to reach our goal of 85% food sustainability. Meaning the community with its environmentally focused way of life, will be leaving a very small foot print each year as we go forwards into our future.