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Kisumu to hold fashion festival for visual-impaired children

Kisumu County Government in partnership with various organizations is set to hold a fashion show for visually impaired children, in a bid to advocate for the rights of People with Disability, involvement and inclusion.

The show will bring together over 150 children from Kisumu and its environs in a bid to identify and mentor talent.

According to the founder and CEO of Angels of Sunset, Hyral Matete, the show is to give the children exposure and a platform to be involved in various fields in the community.

She said that even though there have been acts in support for the inclusion of people with disabilities, these children have been left behind and few or no programs include them.

For the first time, she said, these children will have the opportunity to choose what to wear as most of the time, the decision lies with their parents and guardians.

Matete called upon designers to come up with new ways that will help the children, to identify texture and color, which will enable them to make their own choices, when it comes to fashion.

“We should not talk about inclusion in academics, sports and employment and forget to talk about the inclusion of these people’s feelings and rights to make their own choices,” she noted.

Matete urged the community to stop the stigmatization of people with disabilities and make them part of the community.

Talking about her experience preparing the team of young models for the wonderful event, Matete says, the task has been enormous since they train modeling to blind children, who have never seen and just trying to follow the sound.

“If we keep including them, they will feel part of us, especially children and through this, they learn to live with each other,” she added.

She assured that they have put in place strict directions to ensure adherence to Covid-19 measures and ensure the safety of these kids in this time of the pandemic.

Matete further applauded different organizations like Tinada who have partnered to ensure inclusion of the disabled in the community.

The government has provided opportunities for these people to be employed and involved in projects, the organizations have come up with ways to ensure they work in a favorable and comfortable environment.

According to Executive Director, Tinada Youth Organization, Douglas Otieno, they have been advocating for five per cent employment and access to any office for the disabled.

Otieno applauded Kisumu County Government as it has surpassed the target by employing over 230 persons living with disabilities.

He said their vision is to change the mindset of the public and stakeholders regarding the disabled as a burden but rather as human beings that have rights to everything.

In addition, Otieno noted that people with disabilities in the country need assistance in terms of capacity building, support and protection.

The event will be graced at the Gates Talent Campus in Nyamasaria, Kisumu East Sub- county on Saturday, 25th September, 2021.

By Lorine Awino and Evangeline Mola

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