Kibera has been described as one of the most crowded places on earth and estimates of its population vary widely from around 250,000 to as high as 1 million.
The Mary Rice Centre was started in February 2007 on a purpose built plot in Kibera. The centre is named after Edmund Rice’s daughter, Mary, who from birth lived with a form of disability. Kibera was chosen quite deliberately as it is an area of great need, where children with disabilities would have no access to medical or therapeutic facilities and are often shunned by their community.
Mary Rice Centre supports children with special needs. The Mary Rice Centre focus on intellectual disabilities and disorders supporting children through basic learning skills, vocational training, therapy services and nutritional support. It also supports the parents of the children through skill training and income-generating activities in bead work, tailoring and dressmaking. The Mary Rice Centre also works with the local community to improve understanding of disability and break down stigmas. Workshops help parents with the care of their disabled family member and parent networks foster mutual support.