Kaizora Consultants is the only centre in East Africa that offers internationally recognized behaviour therapy complete with supervision from Board Certified Behaviour Analysts. Kaizora’s director, Pooja Panesar is soon going to be the first BCBA®, trained and working in Africa.
Having such an introduction to your name or that of your centre is as delighting as it gets. But this also goes to showing how young the field of Behaviour Analysis is in Kenya and indeed all over Africa. It is thus, quite validating to have a partner as supportive as The Global Autism Project has been to us; a partner that severally taps your back in congratulation at your every small achievement, like our new school van, and walks with you hand in hand through the difficult moments the practice of Behaviour Analysis in a city like Nairobi presents.
Over the 2½ years of my being at Kaizora we have had the honour of hosting three SkillCorps teams. Thanks to these visits we have added innumerable behavioral skills into our repertoire. One such methodology is the Fluency Based Precision Teaching, introduced to us by Molly Ola Pinney herself and taught extensively over Skype, so extensively that Pooja and Jaqi (a teacher at Kaizora) have presented 3 posters at the ABAI with that training alone. We have introduced new methods of taking data that have had a positive and lasting effect on our decisions on programmes. We also, together with a SkillCorp group came up with a neat way of keeping files so that our students’ books look as orderly as they should. I could fill pages telling of every positive impact GAP has had on us but I will stop with this last one; in 2012 Pooja won an International Development grant from SABA, from which she acquired several Behaviour Analysis books to ensure that our practice is as by the book as possible, this would not have been possible without the partnership with Global Autism Project.
But above all these grand victories, what is even more enthralling is the personal relationships we form with the members of every SkillCorp team. I do not know what idea we usually have of the guys before they land in Nairobi but what happens when we get to meet is that we always get caught off our guards by their charm. We never fail to get along and I am yet to meet one that our children didn’t love a lot, that didn’t love our children a lot. For the two or so weeks of the visit, Kaizora and GAP are seemingly tied at the waists, if Kaizora plays football, Global Autism Project plays football, if our school van takes our kids out for horseback riding, SkillCorps goes horseback riding. During the music sessions, Kaizora is singing and GAP is singing. At lunch time, we are at it all together, guiding our visitors through every pounce of the Ugali and Sukuma Wiki, exchanging stories from our varying experiences, just like one big African family. When the visit finally comes to an end we are left licking the remnants of bliss off our lips wondering when the next one will ever get here.
Joe Mwenda, ABA Therapist at Kaizora Consultants