During the period under review the Methodist Church in Kenya Disability programme provided an enabling environment for people with disabilities (PWDs), who are being mobilized and motivated as agents of change in the community.  During the period under review, there were challenges but similarly many successes.  Some of the key indicators of success included the change of attitude towards Persons with Disabilities, an increased number of people with disabilities seeking support from the project, increased involvement of PWDs and community members in issues of disability rights, care and support, networking and collaboration with other stakeholders, improved quality of lives of PWDs and increased access to services.
The activities also generated a lot of lessons learned which facilitated the continuation and the replication of the best practices. The technical and financial support from the stakeholders has helped the project to develop competence therefore achieving impact within the identified goals.

During this period the disability programme initiated a pilot project on including persons with disabilities in development programmes in Miathene synod.  The main aim of this project is to enable development programmes to include people with disabilities without changing their core functions, structures, and systems, Personnel and or other Resources.  This is to be achieved by respecting the full human rights of people with disabilities (PWDs), acknowledging diversity, eradicating poverty and ensuring that all people are fully included and are actively participating in development processes and activities regardless of their age, gender, disability or any other characteristic.

In the above regard the following activities were implemented in the period 2015-2016:-

Holding a joint meeting at MCK Miathene Synod on that brought together people with disabilities, parents of children with disabilities, development programme workers and ministers.

The meeting was also attended by development programme implementers from Methodist Church in Kenya Conference office, Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network, United Disabled Persons of Kenya and a visitor from World Council of Churches head office in Britain. The aim of this meeting was to sensitize the community on the essence of including people with disabilities in development/livelihoods programmes and ensuring that they are active participants using church based programmes.  This is unlike how it has been done previously where PWDs carry out their activities in a segregated manner. 

Disability inclusive development focuses on strategies such as engaging Disabled Peoples Organizations (DPOs) in the area in identifying and responding to barriers, creating awareness on the importance of inclusive development, and impact of disability in the community; participation of People with disabilities will be encouraged to promote access to services for PWDs in the development programs.  In this regard, the activities are planned and implemented together with PWDs from various parts of Miathene synod.

The meeting was followed by focused group discussions with PWDs who had benefitted from the programme and key informant interviews with the stakeholders.  This was aimed at ascertaining the impact of the project and identifying gaps that may need to be addressed for effective inclusion of PWDs.

Disability awareness has been going on during Sunday services and is done by PWDs. The awareness messages center around inclusion and creating an enabling environment for easy participation of PWDs. The main aim is to effectively include PWDs in programmes

A team from Nairobi toured the MCK bio-intensive training centre under the guidance of a staff of the centre.   This was to enable them see the activities that take place there and the accessibility improvements that have been put in place.  The MCK Disability programme gave some funds to the training centre to make it disability friendly to enable PWDs who are interested in farming to go for training there.  It is also a way of making it accessible so that PWDs can also use it for their trainings.

There holding of consultative meeting at the Miathene synod between the synod Bishop, church ministers and development workers on disability inclusion.

Awareness talk on disability inclusion in churches and identification of people to participate in the monthly awareness talks be done bi-monthly by the synod in consultation with the development workers. 

Joint meetings on sensitizing development workers, church ministers, parents of children with disabilities on including people with disabilities in development. The meeting brought together a total of 46 participants who included representatives from the  circuits of Miathene synod, UDPK, EDAN, MCK Conference office and parents of children with disabilities.

Another meeting took place at the Bio-intensive training centre on the 15 and 16th of June 2015 where people involved in various livelihoods converged to learn on how to improve their livelihoods.   Martin who is one of the MCK development programme implementer took advantage and gave a talk to the stakeholders on disability inclusion.

Supporting the MCK Bio-intensive agricultural training centre to ensure it is accessible for persons with disabilities to learn modern intensive farming methods.  The aim is to make the centre accessible and a model agricultural training centre where  people with disabilities from other churches and institutions can come to train in various modern farming techniques which include fish farming, bee-keeping, animal rearing, green houses on small pieces of land among others.   On this note we have had visitors from World Council of Churches in Britain, the Ecumenical Disabilities Advocates Network MCK bio-intensive training centre under the guidance of a staff of the centre.   This was to enable them see the activities that take place there and the accessibility improvements that have been put in place.

The programme continues to carry out rehabilitation for PWDs through provision of various services eg currently supporting fees for a deaf boy at Kaaga school for the deaf, a young deaf boy undergoing therapy services at Gertrude’s children’s hospital, provision of specialized wheelchairs, artificial limbs, trainings, referrals among others.

Training Disabled Peoples Organizations (DPOs) on the importance of joining regular self-help groups to have them incorporated other than having separate groups for PWDs.  These are part of the strategies of engaging PWDs in a bid to respond to the barriers to effective inclusion   and ensuring that PWDs are involved in livelihoods activities so that they have secure income.

Subsequent to the ongoing activities on including persons with disabilities in development programmes a two days’ workshop on including persons with disabilities in micro finance institutions was carried out.   The objective of this seminar was to enable persons with disabilities to have access to mainstream microfinance services. The activity brought together individuals with disabilities, officers from Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOs), bank and representatives of local self-help groups.   This is aimed at encouraging and linking PWDs to MFIs so that they become members and benefit in the services.

Attended a regional conference on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nairobi.  The conference had representatives from the East African region i.e. Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Ethiopia. The main aim was to familiarize people involved in disability programmes with the gains made towards including disability in the SDGs that passed in late 2015 so as to monitor and participate in their implementation.

We continue to facilitate the registration of PWDs with the government

Maua Methodist  Disability Community Centre –DCC

The DCC’s activities cover five administrative sub-counties of Meru County, that is, Tigania East, Tigania West, Igembe South, Igembe Central and Igembe North with a total population of 775,982 (2009 census).  

The core objective of the DCC is to empower marginalized groups with emphasis on children and adults with disabilities.  The DCC provides care for children in the region through a center based assessment and effective referral system; an epilepsy clinic; orthopedic corrective surgery program in partnership with Maua Methodist hospital; a community based integrated play groups; vocational skills training; visits to homes, institutions, special units and communities involving disabled children; promoting disability persons organizations; educational assessment resource Centre; and the self-help group approach program.

Below are the numbers of children with disabilities supported directly through the DCC activities in 2015

  1. Home based therapy for various disabilities 64
  2. Centre based assessment and therapy 298
  3. Dispensary based outreach clinics 86
  4. Play groups in special schools 441
  5. Corrective surgery for various disabilities 26
  6. Children at risk support 9
  7. Children referred for specialized treatment/management 11
  8. Children assessed and placed in appropriate schools 13
  9. Children benefitting from school fees support 55
  10. Provision of mobility aides (wheelchairs, crutches, tri-cycles, walking canes and specialized seats)

The DCC opened an epilepsy clinic which operates every 1st Thursday of the month. The DCC provides the environment where the epilepsy clinic activities are carried out. A clinician on locum visits the center to diagnose and assess clients that may have epilepsy. They are then advised on management and other information and referrals that may help in e dealing with epilepsy.

Report prepared by Alice Munala

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The Methodist Ministries Centre
P.O. Box 47633 – 00100 Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 020-2403437 | Fax: 020-2403438