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Well-wishers urged to support children with disability

Busia County Director in charge of National Council for People Living with Disability, Rose Simiyu has urged well-wishers to support children with special needs.
Speaking after donating a tricycle to Gilbert Ochieng whose fate was highlighted by the local media last week, Simiyu said that resources provided by the organization are not enough to cater for all needy cases.
“We also rely on other partners like the National Fund for the Disabled,” she said, adding that NCPWD normally supports one special school with at least Sh2 million per year after presenting proposals.
She stated that the organization supported St. Catherine Special School in Butula Sub County and have plans to support another school.
“I believe Apegei Special School will be given priority because of the challenges that I have observed,” she said, adding that around 15 other special schools within the County require support.
“Most schools do not have enough structures like dormitories, beddings among others,” she said, adding that other well-wishers and County government have tried their best but still there is a need for more support.
The official at the same time urged parents and other stakeholders to support the initiative instead of leaving everything to the government.
“We want to urge the relevant ministries like that of Education to fund such special schools,” she said, noting that allocation for such institutions were low yet the demands are high.
The head teacher of Apegei Special School Margaret Omiare noted that locals are not aware that there are children with special needs.
“I have realized that there are people outside there who can assist such cases because when Gilbert’s case was highlighted, people were more than willing to support,” she said.
Omiare added that there are more physically challenged in the school and well-wishers should volunteer to improve the structures within the facility.
“Right now there is a problem of congestion in the dormitory,” she said, while calling for well-wishers to visit the facility and witness the situation.
She pointed out that a dormitory that was being constructed for the boys has stalled due to lack of funds and now wants well-wishers to extend financial support to aid its completion.
The school has an enrollment of 200 pupils, 98 of whom are boys and 102 girls against seven teachers.
“We still need around four to five teachers because there are some children with very severe disabilities that need special attention,” she said.
Ochieng’ who has so far received four wheelchairs and a tricycle thanked the government and well-wishers for coming to his aid.
Ochieng’s condition went viral on social media last week when his condition was highlighted by the local media as he crawled for a long distance in pursuit of education.
The pupil has since been transferred from Aderema Primary School to Apegei Special School in Teso South Sub County.
By Salome Alwanda/Samwel Emeje

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