In Kenya, HI is providing assistance to the most vulnerable people in refugee camps. The organisation is also taking action to combat sexual violence against children with disabilities, increase the participation of disabled people in political life and reduce armed conflict between communities.
Refugees in Dadaab camp, HI Kenya | © B. Blondel / HI
In Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp (with a population of around 350,000 refugees in 2017 according to UNHCR), HI provides rehabilitation care to the most vulnerable, in particular people with disabilities, and distributes mobility aids such as crutches and wheelchairs. The organisation also ensures that the people with disabilities can access humanitarian aid and builds the capacities of staff working with refugees to provide rehabilitation services.
HI's teams in the Kakuma camps in the north of the country are training care workers to provide at-home care for people with disabilities and elderly people. The organisation provides training in rehabilitation care in health centres and within the community. It also delivers training to committees of people with disabilities, enabling them to raise community awareness about the violence to which disabled people are subjected, in particular women.
HI is running a regional project entitled "Ubuntu Care", supporting Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda in combating sexual violence against children, in particular those with disabilities. The organisation informs children, families, organisations and local authorities about the rights of children with disabilities and is working to set up a social and legal protection system. At the same time, HI is raising awareness among different ethnic groups in north-west Kenya about the dangers of light weapons. The organisation provides the public with relevant information and is establishing close links with security agencies and members of the community.
HI is also working to improve the health of marginalised mothers, infants and young children. It is supporting local NGOs in implementing mother and child health services for marginalised populations in Nairobi, particularly people with disabilities.
HI worked to improve the involvement of people with disabilities in the 2017 electoral process. As part of these activities, the organisation produced and distributed information in formats accessible to people with disabilities on how to take part in the recent elections HI is also working with political leaders to promote the participation of people with disabilities in political life.
A former British colony, Kenya obtained independence in 1963. Following post-electoral violence in 2007-2008, the country appears to have regained a degree of stability despite the continuing terrorist threat in the east, near the Somalian border.
In spite of Kenya’s economic growth, there are still substantial levels of poverty and inequality. Half the population lives below the poverty line, with more than 50% of the population surviving on less than one dollar a day. Conditions for people with disabilities remain precarious particularly in the areas of education, health, prevention and the fight against sexual violence.
On the outskirts of the capital Nairobi lies Kibera, one of Africa’s largest shanty towns. Covering an area of 256 hectares, it is home to over a million residents who have no water or electricity. Kenya is one of the ten African countries most severely affected by the AIDS virus, with 400 deaths per day.
It also has a sizeable refugee, population which is mainly concentrated in the north-east of the country.