Persons living with disabilities together with institutions dealing with disabled countrywide have been encouraged to apply for assistance from the National Fund for the Disabled of Kenya (NFDK).
Speaking in Lugari sub county during a brief handing over ceremony of equipment to disabled persons held outside Lugari Sub county Deputy County Commissioner’s office at Lumakanda the NFDK Chief Executive Office Mr. Alex Mutegi said the organization had slots for individual and institutional assistance.
He said under the institutional assistance program the organization had flagship projects which includes construction of dormitories, classrooms and workshops for the persons living with disabilities.
He disclosed that St. Vincent de Paul special school for the mentally handicapped in Likuyani had already benefited from the organization after receiving Kshs 2.7 million for construction of a dormitory adding that other three institutions within Kakamega County have also benefited.
Apart from the flagship projects the CEO said the organization also gave small grants of between Kshs 200,000 to Kshs. 300,000 which are given to schools units or full schools for the handicapped countrywide.
He said the grants can be used for repair and maintenance of dormitories, classes, kitchen and workshop at the institutions and also fencing of the institutions.
He said institutions are allowed to apply for the small grant yearly whenever there’s need for repair, maintenance or fencing.
“In this region Mukuyu Friend’s special school for the mentally handicapped in Lugari and St. Don Bosco Likuyani special school for the physically handicapped have benefitted from small grants,” said Mutegi.
During the ceremony, the organization distributed tool of trade and assistive devices worth Kshs. 350,000 to 18 persons Living with Disabilities in Lugari sub county.
The CEO said each sub county was considered by the organization revealing that each year Kshs 60 million was spent on assortment of tools and equipment to help individual persons living with disabilities countrywide.
Mutegi asked those who applied this year to be patient as their applications were still being looked into for considerations saying those who received equipment are those who had applied earlier revealing that the organization received over 3,000 applications every year.
He advised those who have never benefitted despite applying never to give up encouraging them to continue applying and they will get assistance from the organization.
He also encouraged those who have benefited with assistive or mobility devices like white canes, crutches, wheelchairs among others to apply for tools of trade that will enable them engage in income generating activities.
Mutegi said the purpose of NFDK donating equipment to the disabled persons was to enable them improve their sources of livelihoods and living standards and thus participate in various development project noting that disability was not inability.
He said there were no strict rules for one to apply so long as he/she is disabled was free to apply for assistance from the organization advising them to visit sub-county social development offices and the deputy county commissioner’s office for assistance on how to apply.
He seized the opportunity to warn parents with disabled children against hiding them and instead advised them to bring them up so that they can be helped and also take them school saying it was illegal to hide them and that anybody who would be found doing so will face the full wrath of law.
Addressing the beneficiaries on behalf of Lugari Deputy County Commissioner, area Assistant County Commissioner one Nancy Kiptoo urged them to make properly use of the machines in order to achieve intended purposes of economically empowering disabled members of society warning that stiffer penalties will be meted out to those found to have sold such equipment.
While thanking NFDK for the donation on behalf of the disabled the ACC appeal to the beneficiaries to help other disabled persons in the villages to apply and benefit from the fund thus enable them engage in business as a way of eradicating poverty in the sub county.
She also urged chiefs and village elders to assist the government in identifying and registering the physically challenged persons in the area for proper planning of their welfare.
Among the equipment donated include sewing machines, wheelchairs, crutches, farm implements among others. Also Present at the function was Lugari sub-county Social Development Officer Mr. Fredrick Okoth.