An implementing partner of URAIA Trust in Nandi County dubbed Underit Youth Group (UYG) in collaboration with the National government on Tuesday sensitised People Living with Disability (PWD) drawn from Aldai, Tinderet and Nandi Hills Sub Counties on capacity building in a bid to make them be independent despite their challenges.
The UYG through the Electoral Conflict Education Support (ECES) programme which is a project funded by USAID through URAIA Act takes part in creating awareness on issues regarding governance affecting youths, women, children and PWDs.
Speaking during the sensitisation meeting held in a Nandi Hills hotel, UYG Chairman who is also the ECES coordinator Jacob Sanga said that their aim is to ensure the wellbeing of the special groups in Nandi County are taken care of in a bid to enable them utilize government opportunities available as a way to sustain themselves especially amid the current tough economic times.
Sanga who also tackled the post-election issues including preaching peace, urged the PWDs in attendance to raise their issues that they wish to be addressed in the just ended elections.
“There are several opportunities available in our government for special groups especially for the PWDs. I wish you could exploit all the available opportunities,” pointed out Sanga.
On his part, Nandi Hills Sub County Social Services Officer Kenneth Okong’o explained to the PWDs on issues to do with National Council for People Living with Disability (NCPWDs) and the National Fund for the Disabled of Kenya (NFDK).
According to Okong’o, there are a number of benefits in the NCPWDs and NFDK that PWDs need to take advantage of, ranging from education assistance, assistive devices, Group Revolving Fund, tools of trade to cash transfers for the persons with severe disability.
Okong’o sensitised those who attended adding that they should act as ambassadors to the rest of the PWDs who have not gained that knowledge to ensure all of them benefit from such opportunities.
“There are a lot of opportunities you ought to utilize, especially once you get the PWDs card from the NCPWDs. With the card you can apply for grants under Group Revolving Fund (GRF), tools of trade such as; sewing machines, welding machines and salon kits among others, bursaries for the disabled children in special institutions as well as assistive devices such as wheelchairs,” explained Okong’o.
He further urged the PWDs to form self- help groups to be able to benefit from grants offered by GRF adding that the grants range from Sh 100,000 upwards.
Collins Kipkoech, who is physically disabled as well as a nominated Member of County Assembly affirmed that he has gained from some of the benefits adding that there is also National Government Affirmative Fund (NGAF) which is available at the office of the Women Representative.
Kipkoech also called upon his fellow PWDs to learn to accept themselves the way they are adding that they should try by all means to be independent despite the sickening stigma in the society.
“In addition to the Group Revolving Fund there is the NGAF that is issued by the office of the Women Representative. Let us apply for the funds and be independent. I can testify that Disability is not inability,” he added.
By Ruth Mainye and Collins Kiprotich