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Do not hide disabled kids, parents urged

Parents living with children with disabilities in Homa-Bay County have been challenged to present them for support to gain education through programmes ran by non-governmental Organizations.

Homa Bay County Disability Forum Coordinator David Ochola said non-governmental organizations (NGOs) led by Sightsavers were supporting such children through early childhood development support programs.

Ochola was speaking Thursday during an educative meeting that brought together the NGO representatives and parents of children with disabilities at Shauri Yako Primary School.

The gist of the meeting was to enlighten the members of the community on how to live with such children positively.

Ochola said that they are working together with the NGOs to ensure that they put an end to the trend where disabled children were hidden at home.

He said that they had identified Shauri Yako Primary, Rodi Primary and Wahambla Primary to establish intervention schools for the purpose of supporting the children.

“We already have an Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) programme for the disabled kids at Sahuri Yako Primary school. Therefore, don’t hide these children at home,” said Ochola.

He also reiterated that they are also running the same programme at home dubbed home-based learning with teachers trained and paid salaries by the NGOs.

The Kenya National Paralympic Committee board member, Bernard Ong’ondo on his side reminded the parents that Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) also have amazing talents in sports and they should be given opportunity.

“PWDs do have amazing talents and I’m encouraging parents to avail such children for training in sports,” said Ong’ondo.

He also urged parents of the children to apply for education funds at the National Council of PWDs for their facilitation in school.

The committee board member pleaded with the new county government to offer them financial support to curb the facilitation challenges that they have been experiencing.

Mary Auma Ochieng’, a parent living with a disabled child lauded the NGOs for organizing for them such an educational session which has enlightened her beyond her expectations.

“Through the teachings we have received, we now know that these children are also blessings in the society when they are empowered,” said Ochieng’.

She also urged fellow parents to stop hiding such children, saying that there are schools with specialists around that can help them undertake their education careers.

By Brian Odhiambo and Langat

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