The National Government through the National Fund for the Disabled of Kenya (NFDK) donated equipment and cash grants amounting to Sh14.85 million to People With Disability (PWD) and institutions for persons with disability in Eastern Region.
The equipment including farming, carpentry and welding tools, sewing and knitting machines as well as barber and salon kits was aimed at economically empowering PWDs according to NFDK Trustee Michael Kiswili.
He said the financial grants amounting to Sh300, 000 was meant to improve infrastructure in institutions for persons with disability to create a conducive environment for learners or initiate income generating activities.
Speaking at the Eastern Regional Headquarters in Embu Town, Kiswili called on the beneficiaries, especially individuals, to make good use of the tools of trade to improve their social and economic status.
“The equipment you have received today is your lifeline, take good care of it,” the trustee advised, adding that the donations ought to translate into changed fortunes in the lives of beneficiaries.
He cautioned the beneficiaries against selling or misusing the equipment but to ensure the objective of the benevolence of the benefactors of uplifting their living standards was safeguarded.
Regional Commissioner Evans Achoki hailed the initiative, saying it will go a long way in giving the beneficiaries, majority of who are left at the mercy of relatives or caregivers, the much needed self-reliance.
He at the same time called on parents having children with disabilities not to hide them at home and instead assist in restoring hope in them by enrolling them in institutions that take care of such cases.
The RC called on residents with information concerning cases of hidden children to report to authorities for action to be taken against their parents or guardians.
The beneficiaries expressed joy for the initiative that was set to put them at par with their able bodied counterparts.
Joan Murugi said the salon kit she received was godsend and will help her put food on her table as well as support her parents.
She said such an initiative will also go a long way in changing the negative attitudes towards PWDs as they are always viewed as a burden in the society which was a barrier in attainment of social equality.
By Samuel Waititu and Justus Anzaya