In Kenya, Handicap International works to improve the living conditions of people with disabilities and advance their rights with a special focus on refugee-related issues. Working in Kenya since 1992, Handicap International currently employs 79 local staff, 174 refugee incentive staff, and two expatriates.
Despite the post-electoral violence of 2007-2008, Kenya has largely maintained its internal stability and its predominant role in East Africa. However, the situation of disabled and vulnerable people is still fragile and many services need to be provided, such as education, preventative care, and protection against sexual violence.
The country also has an enormous population of refugees, largely from Somalia and South Sudan. According to UNHCR, as of February 2017, Kenya is home to nearly 554,000 refugees. This vulnerable population, especially those with disabilities, has enormous needs in terms of food, healthcare, and other basic services.
Assistance to Refugees
In Dadaab, the largest refugee camp in the world, Handicap International provides rehabilitation care for the most vulnerable, notably people with disabilities, and distributes mobility aids such as crutches and wheelchairs. Handicap International also ensures that the people with disabilities can access humanitarian aid.
Handicap International's teams in the Kakuma camps are training care workers to provide at-home care for people with disabilities and the elderly. The organization is providing training in rehabilitation at health centers and in the community. It delivers training to committees of people with disabilities to enable them to raise community awareness about the violence people with disabilities are subjected to, in particular women with disabilities.
Protecting Vulnerable Populations
Handicap International is running a regional project titled "Ubuntu Care" in Kenya, Burundi, and Rwanda to fight against sexual violence against children, notably those with disabilities. Handicap International informs children, families, organizations, and local authorities about the rights of children with disabilities and works to set up a social and legal system of protection. It is also supporting local organizations and services to improve mother and child health in two shanty towns in Nairobi.
The organization raises awareness among different ethnic groups in north-west Kenya about the dangers of light weapons. Handicap International provides the public with information and is establishing close links with security agencies and members of the community.
Handicap International works with the police on the issue of road safety, helping establish better enforcement for speeding and helmet violations. The organization also trains local NGOs in how to use the media to promote safer roads. At the same time, Handicap International is carrying out a study into the social and economic impact of road accidents.
THESE PROJECTS ARE POSSIBLE THANKS TO HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL DONORS, AND THE FOLLOWING FUNDING BODIES:
Handicap International's previous work in Kenya has included:
To promote HIV prevention in Nairobi, Kiambu and Machakos, staff trained educators to lead peer-to-peer awareness sessions among youth and at-risk populations such as people with disabilities and young mothers. This program reached 10,000 people with visual impairments, including 4,000 women.
The organization improved the quality of life of people with diabetes and reduced the occurrence of disabling complications by developing and promoting regional expertise based on a network of local capacities in Kitale and Trans-Nzoia District. In addition, awareness campaigns provided the general population with information about the disease and how to prevent it.