KACA plans to set up branch in Temburong

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THE Centre for Children with Special Needs (KACA) is looking to establish a branch in Temburong District, the managing director said yesterday.

“We are looking to establish a centre in Temburong but it is up to parents. If they would like a centre, they can help to find a place for it and set it up,” said Hj Abd Alim Hj Othman.

Currently, there is a KACA branch in each district except for Temburong. Members residing there have to travel to the make use of the centre in Brunei-Muara.

KACA also caters to them by making house visits and organising activities in the district.

Hj Abd Alim said the organisation is also seeking for more volunteers among the youths, to encourage them to be more involved in community work, especially those related to individuals with special needs.

“One day they will be a notable person in the government and it is good that they will know about people who need assistance and help,” he said.

According to Hj Abd Alim, they do get volunteers from schools and higher learning institutions but these groups usually “come and go”.

The numbers fluctuate depending on the time of year — KACA gets the most volunteers during school holidays or when students are waiting for their A-level results.

“Looking back, comparing now with how it was in the 70s and it seems that the number of youth volunteers has increased. More want to assist a centre like KACA and be involved with welfare work,” he said, noting this was a positive sign of the future of volunteerism.

At present there are 34 part-time staff and only 17 full-time staff to run the centre’s branches and carry out activities. KACA heavily relies on volunteers to assist them in their operations.

Part-time staff are important, he said, especially when they conduct house visits to KACA members.

The volunteers visit houses to assist those who are unable to come to the centre due to the child’s disability.

The role of KACA is to support educational programmes, Hj Abd Alim said, adding that most people come to the centre for assistance with homework and for educational support.

“Children with special needs are also given a chance to socialise which is very important since emphasis should not be on education alone,” he said.

Altogether there are 530 registered members and most of the active members are under 12. In 2013, 120 children were re gistered to utilise KACA branches, however, not all are members.

The Brunei Times