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Whitney Kayoji, a disabled child appeals for help

Whitney Kayoji, is an eight-year-old girl who has been living with disabilities since she was young.

At standard one, things have been complicated with the absence of special needs assistance including special needs toilet which would sustain her stay in school.

A visit to Kapyemit Primary School in Maili Nne, Eldoret, unveiled a deprived condition the girl has been facing. She needs urgent assistance to enable her continue with her education.

Mrs Ayieko during an English lesson where Whitney is a pupil in Kapyemit Primary School. Photo by Hassan Adan Ali

Mrs Ayeko Mary, Class teacher to Whitney, says she feels sorry for her classmates who assist her move around by carrying her, despite their young age.

She points out that the other pupil always carry her along to toilets and even during break time to play with her.

“The parent is sickly and she usually carries her on her back on a daily basis to school, I always assist her to getting food at lunch hour because she can’t go home during lunch break because of her condition,” narrates Mrs Ayieko

Ayieko indicated that it hurts her and very painful ordeal to see the young girl suffer through sustaining unending knee injuries as she tries to move around.

The class teacher highlighted that Whitney is not badly off academically though still struggling to catch-up with class activities because of the poor foundation during her Kindergarten.

“I am facing difficulties because of my condition. latrines you can find some doors are very small, so I can never turn inside there. My classmates have been generous by carrying me around but my predicaments are worse during the rainy season, but I hope someday I’ll get help in improving my condition through mobility aid,” optimistic Whitney said.

Mrs Mary Wangare, mother to Whitney, indicated she is the only one providing for her family of three and the only job she depends on is casual labour which she says sometimes she is not paid on time.

Mrs Mary Wangare, mother to Whitney explains her problems in carrying her to and from school on daily basis despite her sickly condition. Photo by Hassan Adan Ali

“We realised Whitney was experiencing some challenges at a younger age and we rushed her to Moi Teaching and Referral (MTRH) Hospital for medical examinations and doctors notified us her legs are weak and she needs therapy,” explains Wangare

She says she was taking her for therapy on a regularly until it reached a point, she exhausted her small savings and decided to call to an end the therapy sessions that was deemed fit to correct her condition.

On enquiry to whether she has ever requested help from organizations that help disabled persons, she indicated she is not aware and probably needed someone to help her get the assistance.

The family pleads for help from well-wishers to help the girl undergo corrective surgery to enabling her walk. This will ease the burden that this needy family is facing.

The National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) should have a routine check-up on sensitizing the society on their role and how they can be accessed.

Whitney is just but a single case of students who are suffering in silence because of ignorance of their custodians and trustees.

The little girl has a bright future despite her condition and the organizations supporting people living with disabilities in Kenya are called upon to intervene and help Whitney and other persons with similar challenges who are suffering predicament as Whitney.

By Hassan Adan Ali

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