“FORUM FOR NEEDY PEOPLE”
Handicapped people, may be physically, mentally or otherwise, are by now well recognized as the less fortunate children of God- the same God who has given us all normal physical features.
For long the fortunate society of mankind have been ignoring or overlooking the status of such innocent children of God. The presence of the handicapped person around was not a likable atmosphere. The poor class handicaps moving around us or crossing our road was not a pleasant view. Even in our house or the surroundings we hardly entertained or tolerated the presence of the handicaps for long.
We considered them to be the ill blessed persons and unwanted persons of the society. We went to the extremes to hate them. We did so just because we were ignorant of the truth. We despised them just because we never went into the details of their disability which in reality is not their doing.
Of late several types of mechanism and concern has been shown by the same group and in today’s world, we see several societies and associations which have come out as the well-wishers of the handicapped. The Government as a whole has come out to care for such children by opening Special Schools and special homes for them and also by providing them special services at several sectors.
There are special jobs for these people reserved in the Government. The Government has opened several rehabilitation centers for such children and several NGOs from overseas have come forward to offer their honorary services to such centers. They also fund the various projects forwarded by the Board of Governors of the particular center who have vowed to be helpful to the unfortunate children at all sources.
Under the present circumstances there is no handicap child ignored or not attended especially in Kenya.
On the African continent Kenya has been in the forefront in such activities. There are several associations and organizations for mentally handicapped, physically disabled, deaf and dumb, orphans, blind and other ignored senior citizens.
The introduction of special Education for mentally handicapped and deaf and dumb is quite to the advanced stage. The blinds have their own schools and the special language since long. The then introduction of Special Olympics for mentally handicapped children is to the tune of international appeal and Kenya has taken the lead on the African continent.
‘Special Olympics’ have really created the true awareness to the normal society that if given enough opportunities and special care, the less fortunate citizens of the Nation can very well play a vital role in the field of games and sports.
“Special Olympics” covers several field events such as long jumps, disc throwing, high jumps, relay race, and 100m to 2 kms race, football, volley-ball and even swimming.
To train the mentally handicapped to participate in such events is a highly seeked achievement of “Kenya Special Olympics” through Kenya national sports Association for the disabled -created and supported by Kenya society for the mentally handicapped -has come out whole-heartily to uplift the standard of the handicapped in the field of sports and we have achieved several medals on the international level- Gold, silver and Bronze.
When we go deep into the world of handicapped, we come to realize the capability and enthusiasm glittering in them to take part in all the major activities if given chance and opportunities of special training. They have the will and the inner sight and capability to achieve certain goals.
Apart from looking after himself, feeding himself on his own, a handicapped person could come out as an important element of the society and even can look after the family once he has been brought to that standard by the “National pressure Group for the Citizen” in need of special care.
The blinds have proved to be good farmers, telephone operators, teachers, carpenters, artisans on mat, carpets, and strings and even typists. If we study the lives of the successful blind persons of the society, we may be surprised at their achievements. They are good at music and singing.
The well-known National lecturer of the Theosophical Society in East and Central Africa, Mr.Rueban Thuku is totally blind and he has gone to the eternal height on lectures to the international appeal. He looks after himself properly with a very little help.
At home these blinds cook delicious dishes to the astonishment of many. Tea prepared by some of them challenges the taste of some good tea staller.
The Kenya society for the blind has really worked sincerely to take care of them. Kisumu Blind Center is the living example where the blind persons carry out the craft and art work to the astonishment to the outsiders. Each of them earns enough to maintain his entire family.
No one wishes or longs to be a beggar, parking boy or an orphan, the group of ignored people. If given appropriate opportunities to work for a bread, most of them are willing to work hard even for a little income, and that is why we see the number of such people not on the higher side in the streets of Kenyan towns. Majority of the blind persons in Kenya are on work. They are good as telephone operators. We hardly see the blinds roaming around or occupying certain areas to beg for their daily bread.
Several children are borne sick. The parents of such children can not afford the treatment expenses for the type of sickness and they seek external aid for the purpose. Some organizations and societies have willingly taken the challenge and several of such less fortunate borne are saved from the thresh-hold of death and brought to normal stages.
The rehabilitation centers throughout the country show the concern on the national level towards such needy people. The Kenyan government is very much generous towards the sector and the Kenyan President has a special fund for the disabled which shows the concern of the Head of state towards the less fortunate children of God. The department of Rehabilitation has really tried to penetrate in mostly all the corners of the Nation as a whole.
Child Welfare Society of Kenya with the Head Quarters in Nairobi and Branches throughout the country has really worked hard for the orphans and the street children with the able support from the Government and mainly funding and voluntary work from NGOS from Europe.
The International Labour Organization very popularly known as ILO with the Head Quarters in Geneva have really come out whole heartily in cash and kind to support the projects of Child Labour and Child Prostitution in Kenya. With their able support there are now very rare cases of street children and under aged Prostitutes especially in the streets of Nairobi which was the prime center for both. Hundreds of street children who were involved in child labor have joined schools and studying well to be in the line of normal citizens of the Nation.
Association of Physically Handicapped of Kenya [APDK] with the Head Quarters in Nairobi and the branches at most of the prominent centers is taking care of the Physically Handicaps through their Mobile Service. They have few vehicles which are fully equipped with the required goods for the handicaps which move around in several centers mostly in all centers of APDK.
There are certain projects sponsored by the NGOS and even the vehicles are donated by the foreign based Voluntary Organizations. The clippers and the boots are manufactured at the H.Q. in Nairobi. The wheel chairs are donated by the local goodwill organizations like LIONS, ROTARY and Giants. The Jaipur Foot previously imported through the kind courtesy of the Indian High Commission in Kenya, now is manufactured locally at the workshop in Ruiru Center.
Most of the items are provided free of charge to the Disabled except at few occasions where a token charge is taken. The STAFF of the APDK is paid through the NGOS especially the Physiotherapist who is a key figure in the organization. The junior staffs are at events paid by the Government through the local District Commissioner’s Office.
Handicapped on the Kenyan land are the fortunate persons being looked after well by the Government, NGOS, Social Organizations and general public. Many of them are found to be working as clerks, cashiers, computer-operators, telephone operators, running their own cabins and working at several public sectors.