Parents living with children with disabilities have been asked to be ambassadors of children living with different forms of disabilities by creating awareness to the community on the importance of educating these children.
While speaking after commissioning a dorm constructed by the National fund for the disabled of Kenya(NFDK) at St. Martin primary school of the deaf in Mumias the chairperson of NFDK Mrs. Kristina Kenyatta Pratt said that many parents feel those children are a bad omen and bad luck and don’t bring them out to the public saying they should use the example of their children who are in school so that they become ambassadors and create awareness to other parents.
Kristina Kenyatta said that the mandate of NFDK is to help the disabled live a life of dignity by improving the lives of families living with disabilities and those of their children.
“We give out money to put up such structures as dormitories, dining halls, classrooms. We also give out wheelchairs, tricycles and tool kits to start business depending on the skills of people such as leather tool kits, irrigations kits and also salon kits so as to improve the lives of the disabled,” she said.
She said that it is not the work of people living with disabilities to walk on streets and borrow people money to buy food and instead they want the board to make these people live decent lives by providing them with such tools in line with their skills so that they can earn a living and also have a dignified life.
Kenyatta thanked the school administration for spending the money so well by putting up a high-quality building that as they had set a very good example.
She also thanked the parents of that school for stepping in to ensure the project is completed by raising money and also for always being there by supporting their children by picking them at the end of term as some parents just dump the children in school and never bother about them neither pick them when schools close.
She said that before schools are opened in January next year she would ensure the dormitory is fully furnished by having new beds and mattresses through the fund so that the children live in comfort.
Mrs. Cecilia Mbaka one of the trustee members of the board of NFDK and representing the department of special programs in the board said that the government is very committed to supporting the rights of persons living with disabilities.
“The constitution says that people with disabilities have a right to education, a right to accessibilities and it’s the parents living with children with disabilities and the community working with the government will help us achieve the rights of those children and I urge parents to educate other members of the community to know this children have rights.” Mbaka affirmed.
She further added that to ensure those rights are achieved the government is giving 2,000 shillings to poor vulnerable households each month and further adding that some families are hiding those children and it has become difficult to help those children.
Hon. Josiah Sinyo a member of the board representing the state law office and also a disabled person challenged Kenyans to uphold the constitution as it abolished the use of words as deaf, blind but instead called them people living with disabilities suffering from such a condition and one can be prosecuted using the Kenyan law or international law as these children undergo the same process as the normal children.
Professor Francis Kibera a university don challenged the parents on the importance of education children as something critical to the prosperity of this country saying that those children should be given an environment to ensure thy prosper in education to ensure the growth of this country economically.
This remarks were supported by professor Christine Ojiambo a member of the board of trustees that parents should ensure they take those children living with disabilities to school as when they are properly educated,they have better chances of getting more better jobs than ordinary children and so that they can be independent.
She informed the leadership of St Martin primary school that each year they offer grants of 200,000 shillings to such special schools so that they can start income generating activities for the school and also renovating some parts of the school.
The building of the new girl’s dormitory was done at a cost of 3.2 million shillings and the fund gave out 2.7 million for the construction, the school gave 400,000 shillings while the parents raised 100,000 to ensure the dorm is completed.