CASA Disability Program
In October 2012 Development Pamoja started a disability program in the Mogotio area. This project is generously funded by the Caring and Sharing Association (CASA) from Ireland. The project seeks to replicate projects implemented by CASA in Ireland.
Disability in Kenya, both physical and mental is unfortunately still a taboo subject. There are many disabled people living in the Mogotio area and not only are they unable to access adequate healthcare facilities, but they often live isolated lives, cut off from the normal social activities of communities.
Our work with the disabled community focuses on four main areas: social inclusion and support (through monthly social events), the provision of medical assistance, education and income-generating activities. We currently have 114 project participants spread across four villages in the Mogotio district (Alphega, Athinai, Lomolo and Sarambei).
Each month we organise social gatherings where we invite disabled people and their caregivers to eat together and discuss issues that affect them. Apart from having a meal together, we provide entertainment for the children and also run programs for the adult guardians. A major focus is to educate people about their rights and to ensure that they know how to access these rights.
We have also begun to implement a table banking scheme where group members contribute to a central loan fund which is then available to members as loans which are repaid with 10% interest.
Apart from the monthly socials, the other major focus of this project is providing assistance to participants who need to access medical care. This ranges from clinic appointments for various ailments to regular physiotherapy sessions in Nakuru (for 22 of our participants) to psychiatric appointments and optical care.
As part of our work with this group we fund the educational costs of both disabled children and the children of disabled parents. In the past year we paid the school fees and covered other educational costs for 24 children (13 boys and 11 girls), 16 of whom are disabled themselves, with 8 having a disabled parent.
We are very satisfied with the progress made since this program commenced. Not only has it ensured that disabled people are now getting the medical assistance they need, the program has also educated people about their rights.
The positive effect on this group of people and on others in their communities has been amazing. Prior to starting this program many disabled people were hidden away in their homes and seen as an embarrassment to their families. They are now accepted and acknowledged by their communities as having a positive contribution to make to society.
Many thanks to CASA for initiating this project which is helping some of the most disenfranchised people in Kenya.