Power of the people

People living with a disability have often been ignored and their contribution not valued. Living with a disability in rural areas means that they are tucked away from all community and family engagement never to be seen or heard. However, this is not the case for the people living with a disability in Mavinidi, Kenya.  A great example of how community empowerment leads to lobby & advocacy by community members themselves for others who are experiencing such challenges. 

The Help a Child Africa team working with the Mavindini community saw 7 Disability support groups take the lead in promoting disability inclusion and disability mainstreaming in the project area. Thirty disability resource persons received capacity building, which led to the formation of an advocacy committee. This Advocacy committee aims at championing disability inclusion within the Mavindini program area. The Advocacy committee stressed the importance of including people living with a disability in decision-making. Their lobby agenda led to two persons living with a disability being appointed to the Health and Market committee. A great achievement!

Additionally, the Advocacy committee partnered with the National Council for Persons with a Disability (NCPWD) and other ministries to ensure the assessment and screening of 139 people with 83 persons attaining disability identification cards among other assistance. Getting a disability identification card is often difficult, as it lacks priority at the agency providing them. Without this disability identification card, people living with a disability are often not able to access all benefits from the government. One of the Disability support groups was awarded Ksh. 100,000 (about US$900) as a result of their proposal submitted to the NCPWD. The funding enabled them to establish a poultry project aimed at improving their self-independence and well-being of their families.