Four hundred needy households with special needs children in Samburu County will receive Sh 7,000 each to start small income generating activities to enable them maintain these children in school.
The project which is spearheaded by the Special Olympics Kenya (SOK) aims at promoting education for children with special needs in Samburu County through sensitizing the community to stop confining them at home but to instead take them to school.
Speaking to residents of Loikas village in Maralal town, Scolla Muhoi from the Special Olympics Kenya said that they have already identified the 400 needy households that have children with special needs and will be funded to start small income generating activities.
“Through this project we will sensitize families with a child with special needs that it is not a curse and they should stop hiding them but instead enroll them in schools so that they can get equal opportunities like other children,” she said.
Muhoi added that SOK will carry out an assessment to identify the children who need assistive devices such as wheelchairs, crutches, braille and hearing aids to improve their quality of life as they study.
Grace Edonga a resident of Loikas village welcomed the funding saying that most parents with special needs children are poor and rely on selling firewood and charcoal to make ends meet.
Edonga added that in the local community, a child with special needs is associated with generational curses and that is why families with such children prefer hiding them from the public.
“With such sensitization, and enrolling special needs children to school stigma towards their families will reduce in future since normal children will interact with them,” she said.
Loikas Primary School Head Teacher Barrack Okoth noted that many children with special needs in Samburu County are rarely enrolled in school and called on well-wishers to work together with the Ministry of Education to see that they get equal education opportunities like the rest.
By Robert Githu