While families and children with special needs face many challenges here in the United States, their plight is often much worse in the developing world.
The social stigma and lack of resources in these countries severely hinders the physical, social, and intellectual development of children with special needs.
When Steve and Carol Mukenya visited the San Francisco Bay Area and saw firsthand how inclusive E-programs were changing the lives of typical and special needs children, they caught a vision. They decided that they wanted to serve their community by bringing E-Soccer to their home in Nairobi, Kenya.
Steve and Carol worked together with our E-Soccer leadership team in the Bay Area and in August of 2006, we were able to send our first E-International training team to Nairobi. The team stayed for eight days to conduct training sessions for the Kenyan coaches, a number of whom were teachers, therapists, and even special needs adults.
They launched their first E-Soccer session with huge success. A busload of children arrived from nearby Jacaranda Special School for special needs children as well as many other children in the community.
Around the same time, David and Monica Naronha began visiting the San Francisco Bay Area from Bangalore, India, to find resources for their son with special needs. Their personal quest turned into something much bigger when they discovered E-Soccer and decided to launch their own program back home in Bangalore.
The Naronhas built a connection with a school for kids with special needs in Bangalore, and reserved field space for every Saturday morning. Their program was met with great enthusiasm and interest in their community. E-Sports then sent a team of coaches to India for about 10 days to help them launch their program.
E-programs in these countries not only provide fun physical and social experiences for children but inclusion and awareness for the whole community. Our international connections have given us a unique way to improve the lives of special needs and typical children by spreading inclusion around the world.