Kericho parents urged to enroll special-needs children

Counties Editor's Pick Kericho Social

Parents and guardians in Kericho living with disabled children have been encouraged to register them with the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) to enable them to benefit from various programmes rolled out by the government.

In an interview with KNA at her office, Kericho County Senior Disability Officer Hellen Tuwei, who represents the interests of disabled people in the county, said there were opportunities for disabled children geared towards giving them a chance to realise their dreams without discrimination.

“I urge parents and guardians living with children with disabilities to register them at the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) offices and have them assessed so that they can be recognised by the government and hence benefit from government scholarships, cash transfer programmes for orphans and vulnerable children as well as those living with severe disabilities, access to assistive devices, provision of skin care products for those living with albinism, and job placement opportunities,” said Tuwei.

The Kericho County Disability Officer said that any family living with a person with a disability (PWD) should expose them to learning environments to equip them with skills to be self-reliant and productive in their communities.

“I encourage disabled children to go to school because once you are educated, no one sees your disability. I want them to defend themselves through education. NCPWD has really encouraged children with disabilities by giving them scholarships cutting across the country so that they can get education from primary to university and even colleges and Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) institutions. I encourage parents and guardians living with disabled children not to assume they are disabled, as they still live normal, productive lives in their communities,” added Tuwei.

“Stigmatisation and discrimination have widely contributed to the unproductiveness of persons living with disabilities in communities, who more often feel discouraged to engage in anything meaningful or productive and often end up considering themselves inferior,” noted the visually disabled officer.

I call upon parents and guardians of disabled children to stop hiding them from the community but instead enroll such children in special schools for a brighter future. These children should not be perceived as a curse since they have the potential to turn into very useful persons in society,” said Tuwei.

A beneficiary of the government’s education support through the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) support for disabled students Mr. Vincent Ochola, a student on attachment at the NCPWD Kericho offices, said he is grateful that he can now pursue his education and realise his dreams of becoming a computer programmer following the government scholarship.

“I am grateful for the assistance the government has given me, and I can now pursue my dream course to become a computer programmer despite starting my education late. I am undertaking a certificate course in Information Communication Technology at Sikri Vocational College for the Blind and Deaf. Life has not been easy for me, but I am keen on leading a normal life despite my disability,” said Ochola.

By Sarah Njagi

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