Many children with special needs in the North Rift region cannot access proper healthcare and education due to cultural and community barriers.
The Eldoret Rotary Club President, Geoffrey Kirui said cultural beliefs and community practices have become major impediments denying children with special needs their right to healthcare and education as enshrined in the Constitution.
Kirui said there was need for county governments in the region to allocate special funds in their annual budgets as well as create support systems to cater for the rising numbers of children with special needs who were neglected by families and caregivers.
“There are more than 120 children with special needs who have been identified but there are no special homes with facilities to help them,” said Kirui.
Speaking during an event that brought together local and international members of the club to complete a new building at the Jawabu Rehabilitation Center in Eldoret, Kirui said the number of children being dumped on the streets in major towns in the north rift and those locked up at home without care was alarming.
The Director of Service Projects at the Club, Sylvia Chelimo said county governments in the region should be in the forefront in creating public awareness through carefully designed civic education programs to educate members of the communities on the rights of children with special needs.
She also urged the devolved units to set aside funds to hire skilled personnel to handle such children to ensure they were not disadvantaged.
The new building is expected to accommodate 40 children who have been living in a mud house at the center.
By Kiptanui Cherono