The situation of Coronavirus in the country has improved and all education institutions have resumed. Our two targeted schools, Athi special School and Irindiro are in session. The challenge is ensuring the children with disabilities maintain social distance and hygiene such as wearing of masks. In order to ensure the learners are protected the schools have resorted to restricting visitation in the schools.
Irindiro special school is in need of extra classrooms as they only have 2 classrooms catering to 110 learners. To avoid overcrowding the children are learning outside under the trees.
In view of the last population census, which revealed that Meru County is leading with the number of persons with disability with over 60,000 persons with disabilities, the DCC embarked on registering persons with disability especially women for the past 2 months in order to seek support from the government. The target is to register 6,000 women with disabilities and so far we have registered 8,000 persons with disabilities with 5,300 being women. After the exercise they will be trained on how to use their new registered status to advocate for support from the government.
DCC staff continue to visit children in the programme at their homes and provide Covid protective equipment and food stuffs to their families. The situation with Coronavirus in Kenya is now improving and the government is starting to lift restrictions.
We have resumed mobile clinics in 4 centres where we provide services to those who are not able to reach the main centre in Maua. Here we have witnessed very vulnerable children who are in dire need of help. However, we are unable to provide more families with food as we don’t have sufficient funds and those, we are already providing for are still dependent on us.
The government announced partial reopening of schools starting on the 12th October 2020 but the fate of Special schools where the children we support normally attend is still unknown.
We have continued to provide support in the form of forums where health officials and parents get to interact, and parents can ask pertinent questions on disability and about their children.
Using available materials to train a child to walk
As the country battles COVID-19, schools remain closed here in Kenya with the earliest possibility of reopening in September. Due to this, the children supported under this program remain at home. It presents a difficult situation for the children as they come from very vulnerable and poor backgrounds; the food they were getting while in school is hard to come by while at home. The Disability Community Centre (DCC) has been distributing food to the children at home during this period as well as handing out protective items such as hand wash, soap and face masks. So far, 204 children have benefited from the food and other items. But these items are not sufficient - especially the food, which quickly runs out.
Also, the DCC has managed to complete a new classroom for Irindiro special school during this closure period - something for the children to look forward to when they can get back to school.
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