Diaconia

Mtoni Diaconic Lutheran Centre deals with mental handicapped children. Currently the centre is serving 76 children.

Mtoni Diaconia Lutheran Centre
P.O. Box 837
Dar es salaam
Telephone: +255 22 2856821
E-Mail: mtonideac@elctecd.org

Mtoni Deaconic Lutheran Centre (MDLC) was established and run by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania: Eastern and Coastal Diocese (ELCT: ECD). Initially Luis Danielson, an American missionary for the ELCT: ECD, established it in 1964 to care for street children.

In 1981 in response to the International Year of the Disabled the decision was made to change the focus to cater for mentally handicapped children. In 1983 the MDLC started to provide education and care for these children and to help the families who were engaged in their full-time care.

The MDLC has boarding and day places and takes children from all over Tanzania, the mainland and Islands, with a mixture of backgrounds and religions. The MDLC is located on the left side of the road, near Evangelical Lutheran Church, Mtoni Parish along Kilwa road at Mtongani area, in Temeke Municipal, 12 kilometres from Dar es Salaam City.

Vision


“To have a just and empowered mental handicapped society”

Mission


“Is not for profit, non-partisan, non-governmental organization striving to empower and give opportunities to mental handicapped children; promote, reinforce and protect rights of disabled people in Tanzania; promoting care and love of God to marginalized and under privileged disabled society.”

Services Offered by MDLC


(a) National Educational Assessment Centre for children with mental disabilities
Since 1987 the MDLC has been providing services of assessment for children with mentally special needs. Currently over 3,780 children have been assessed. This educational assessment services is done along side the medical assessment referral provided by Muhimbili National Hospital. This program executed by the specialized teachers/personnel. Children assessed may go to various centre/units/schools of children with mental disability all over the country.

(b) Home Visiting Program (HVP) for children with mental disabilities
The overall Aim of this programme is to enable children with mental disabilities to get to school/unit/centre as their basic children rights of getting education. To train mentally handicapped children to get opportunity to exercise their body organs and brain, teaching them basic skills of dressing, feeding, combing, using toilet, playing games hence acquainting them to get ready to attend in centre/unit/school. Teaching parents, guardians, Local government leaders and social workers to reduce stigmatization against mentally handicapped children. The targeted children are those with 4 – 10 years old. The MDLC in collaboration with the Danish Lutheran Mission (DLM) and Danish Mission Council Development Department (DMCDD) in Temeke district initially launched this programme in 2002. This program is now covering the three municipals of Dar Es Salaam which are Kinondoni, Temeke and Ilala thus we are serving more than 368 children in Dar Es Salaam city. Starting from 2012, the programme extended to Kisarawe and Mlandizi – Kibaha districts. Special field workers and Occupational therapist (OT) works in this programme daily.

(c) Special School for children with mental disabilities
The Special School “Shule ya Mtoni Maalum” runs in cooperation between the ELCT: ECD and the Tanzanian Government through Temeke Municipal Council (Ministry of Education and Vocational Training: Special Education}. The ELCT: ECD owns and provides buildings and other facilities such as furniture etc., care staff and some daily needs.

The government provides 10 teaching staffs and a Nurse while the ELCT: ECD employs 22 staffs and caters all other costs like administration, running costs, energy resources, teaching materials and food. The MDLC rely on offerings, gifts and donations to pay for ongoing running costs, maintenance of the buildings and play and educational equipment for the classrooms and afternoon activities.
Currently the Special School has 80 pupils; 49 boys and 31 girls. Among the 80, 64 are boarding and 16 day scholars.

(d) Volunteering and Internships programmes
The MDLC provides space for people from all over the world to volunteer in working with the centre, giving gifts and supports to the centre/programmes offered.
Besides, the MDLC offers opportunities for students and researchers worldwide to do their field practices in the centre.
The MDLC welcomes qualified and people who have heart and passion to work with children with mental handicapped to come and volunteer willingly and wholeheartedly.

“Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

[John 12:26]

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