You Will Never Walk Alone
December 2019
You Will Never Walk Alone

CONTEXT

In Nairobi there are 300,000 boys and girls with disabilities, 80% of them live in the slums in disastrous conditions. There are no adequate medical care services that can promote a peaceful childhood without suffering from marginalization. Many childhood disabilities are not congenital and result from the lack of care for mothers and children during and after pregnancy and they worsen in the absence of diagnosis. These disabilities would be easily preventable if there were adequate pre- and postnatal care.

There is a lack of adequate health services for young mothers, including those with disabilities. Health centers "adapted to persons with disabilities" are rare, as are early diagnosis and rehabilitation systems. Families with children with disabilities cannot take care of the particular needs of their children and awareness of rights and opportunities is lacking. Moreover, at the community and educational level, disability is highly marginalising and the preparation of teachers and schools is not inclusive for children with disabilities.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE

We want children with disabilities in the suburbs of Nairobi to achieve more dignified living conditions through better access to prevention, diagnosis, community-based rehabilitation and educational inclusion services. Support for families is encouraged by opportunities for dialogue and discussion. We will offer them the start-up of small income-generating activities to promote their economic inclusion.

The approach we use is that of community-based rehabilitation. On the one hand, we guarantee people with disabilities the enhancement of their skills and access to services, on the other hand we try to activate the community to remove those physical, mental and social barriers that prevent people with disabilities form living a full and dignified life.

In three years the Health Centres will improve their capacities in the prevention of disability, early diagnosis in children between 0 and 5 years and in making facilities accessible to people with disabilities. Rehabilitation services for children with disabilities will be strengthened through community-based rehabilitation. We will promote the economic inclusion of families in difficulty.

In particular, our organization is dedicated to improving family awareness about disability and to promoting active participation activities for parents in advocating for their children’s rights. We want to stimulate comparison and acceptance through the creation of associations composed of parents of children with disabilities. The experiences of mutual help groups are effective because they help people overcome difficulties, increase the capacity for reciprocity and solidarity among members and motivate them to take action by lobbying and advocacy.