People living with disabilities in Lamu County have been urged to come out in large numbers and register as self-help groups or community based organisations to benefit from the disability funds.
Through a program ‘Kuboresha Uthabiti wa Jamii Initiative’ funded by the European Union through the Aghakhan Foundation and implemented by Muslim Women Advancement for Rights and Protection organization (MWARP) held in Lamu town that brought together 8 groups of disabled from the county with the aim of teaching them on matters business and finance management.
It wae revealed that parents are still hiding their disabled children at home.
Rukia Musa said that hiding the disabled is denying them their rights.
“I urge parents not to hide their disabled children. Every child has the constitutional right to education and other basic things. I thank God, my son who is a disabled has completed his form four studies”, said Miss Musa.
She said parents should not use their disabled children as an investment tool by putting those children on the streets to beg, saying it degrades their status.
“There is a lot of support disabled children get from the government and various organizations. If you hide them then you deny them many opportunities like education, health and even jobs”, said Miss Musa.
The secretary of Furaha Disable Self Help Group Mohamed Abdulrahman, applauded the organisers and said they are equipped with skills that will bring profit in the projects they are doing.
“It is a great joy for us as disabled to get this training. We will be able to sustain our project of goat keeping and chicken rearing for our own benefit”, said Abdulrahman.
Abdulrahman has emphasized that the disabled should refrain from begging in shops and on the streets and instead make sure they join self-help groups.
“I am asking my fellow disabled, not to degrade ourselves by going to the streets and beg. Let’s try to create groups that will enable us earn money to develop ourselves through projects”, said Abdulrahman.
Youth representatives for the disabled Ikhwan Omar said that disabled lack of commitment has caused them to be humiliated and despised.
“Just because the government or society has isolated us, it does not give us the right to accept because we are told that disability is not inability, so it is important for the disabled to commit themselves and get out of their comfort zone,” said Omar.
He emphasized on forming of self-help groups as beneficial as more funds are pumped to groups rather than individuals.
“The more we are united the stronger we become. Let’s stick together and it will be easier if we want our interests to be heard and considered,”he added.
He said the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) has never considered or adopted the interests of the disabled.
Programs officer from the Muslim Women Advancement for Rights and Protection (MWARP) organization James Chapa said that the training is mainly to empower the disabled on how to deal with the post-corona virus infection.
“This program is to motivate groups of people living with disabilities in relation to business and financial matters to deal with the post-corona crisis because they are the ones who were mostly affected”, he said.
Similarly, Chapa has challenged members of several disabled groups within the county to form a network that will give them the opportunity to be heard.