Seri Mengasih Centre is a special developmental centre located in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia providing a comprehensive range of training programmes for the intellectually and developmentally disabled and services for their families.
It was established in 1981 as the first special school in the state of Sabah for children whose special requirements could not be met in mainstream schools. It was a project initiated by a group of volunteers in collaboration with the Sabah Mental Health Association and established by a Board of Management. A footballers’ changing room at the Likas Sports Complex was used to start the first class for 10 children aged 6 to 12 years. The pioneer staff consisted of 3 teachers, a general helper, and a CUSO (Canada) volunteer worker as its first Principal.
In 1983, the school shifted to a government residential building which has a spacious compound and beautiful surroundings located in one of the choicest areas by the Tanjung Aru beach at Kota Kinabalu. The environment is very pleasant and the atmosphere rather personal and people friendly, without the usual feel of a welfare institution. Instead, it is very homely, much like the belief at Seri Mengasih that a school should be an extension of the home, and likewise, the home an extension of the school.
Over a span of 30 years, from a very humble beginning of a single class operating in a place which had to be vacated whenever there were soccer matches; Seri Mengasih developed into a special developmental centre at its present premises in Tanjung Aru, with a current enrolment of more than 150 students ranging from babies to young adults, and 25 staff.
Seri Mengasih seeks to raise the hope and dignity of the intellectually and developmentally disabled by providing for their holistic development from the earliest age until, as far as possible, they have achieved socio-economic independence and are successfully included and integrated into the mainstream of community life. This can only be done through the combined effort of the staff, parents and the general public.