Thanks to your support, the development of the wheelchair center is progressing nicely!
To give some context on the state of disabilities in this area….In Kenya 80% of the disabled population is located in the northwestern region of the country which consists primarily of tribal lands. Injuries from tribal wars are the leading cause of disabilities in this region resulting in amputations and spinal cord injuries. This region has been largely ignored for decades by the government and there is a tremendous need for services.
President Kenyatta and the First Lady are very supportive of people with disabilities and inclusion efforts. In fact, each regional government must include a representative with a disability. (Uhambo has a connection to the First Lady and as the center develops further, we will invite her for a visit. We concluded that it was a bit premature to invite her in November.)
In November our team conducted a successful site evaluation at the Nairobi wheelchair center to plan next steps and set the center up for success. As a result of this visit, we have identified that there is a need in the community for education, awareness and training on disability topics – training for occupational therapists on wheelchair seating practices, training to community members about disability awareness and training for caregivers and family members on proper care of a child who has a disability. Over the next few months we will be focusing on establishing and delivering these trainings from the center. This will provide a strong foundation with the community to build on in the future.
Our next phase of development includes providing training to other occupational therapists in the region on proper wheelchair seating techniques. We are proud that our on-the-ground partner, Nancy (pictured above) is one of a small group of designated WHO African Trainers in this area of corrective seating. We will then work with Nancy to receive enterprise training while we pursue delivering training services.
As some of you know, an adventurous team of four UK individuals are climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro (as you read this!) and chose to raise funds for Uhambo as a tribute to their personal challenge. Their fundraising page is on GlobalGiving’s UK site. Thank you to all of our new UK friends!
We are grateful to each and every one of you for contributing to this innovative project that we intend to replicate in other parts of Africa. We couldn’t do it without you!