The Plan International Kenya in partnership with Norway Agency for International Development (NORAD) has donated assorted walking devices to 11 children with severe disabilities in Homa bay Sub County.
Out of the total number of 300 children who were assessed in three sub counties of Homa bay, Rangwe and Ndhiwa with different special needs 11 were found with severe disabilities.
The children who were identified by Association for Physically Disabled persons of Kenya (APDK) and the Department of health benefitted from assorted devices which include wheelchairs, crutches and artificial leg.
Speaking on Monday at Kabunde Social Hall in Homa bay town Sub County during the distribution of devices to the beneficiaries, the Plan International Kenya Project Officer with NORAD, Mary Achieng said that six children benefitted from wheelchairs, four from crutches and one an artificial leg.
Achieng added that the devices are going to assist the parents of those children by exposing them to other members of the community.
“Most parents hide such children in the house due to stigmatisation, the devices will now assist them in exposing them to members of community thus fighting the vice,” Achieng said.
The officer further said that the Programme started last year and has borne fruits since now the parents could take such children to assessment centers for placement to special schools.
At the same time, Achieng revealed that they are working closely with Homa Bay Disability Self Sustain group in sensitizing the parents on the need of exposing such children for assistance.
She appealed to parents not to hide such children in the house, saying that there are many organisations which are willing to assist them so long as they are contacted.
The Project officer also said that the same programme is being done in the three counties of Homa bay, Kisumu and Siaya where more than 50 children have benefitted at the cost of more than a Million shillings.
On his part, the Ndhiwa Sub County Children Officer, John Kabasa cautioned the parents against selling the devices, saying any body found will be arrested and charged in court for violating the rights of children.
Kabasa further called on the parents to ensure that such children also go to school like any other children in their families and avoid hiding them in the house.
While on his part the Chairman of Homa bay Disability Self Sustains Group, Philip Kabuor said that according to research conducted by Plan International Kenya, Homa bay is still leading in terms of persons with disabilities by 17 per cent followed by Kisumu at 10 and Siaya at 9 per cent respectively.
Kabuor appealed to parents of the beneficiaries to ensure they used the devices for the intended purposes.
Sophie Achieng and Lucy Akoth both parents of the beneficiaries lauded the organization for assisting their children with the devices, saying they will now have ample time to do their daily activities knowing that their children are safe.
They further revealed that they have been having rough time in taking care of their children by carrying them daily to and fro from the house.
By Dan Oduor/Davis Langat