Handicap International works in Kenya to assist the most vulnerable people in the refugee camps. The organisation is also taking action in a range of other sectors such as road safety, the fight against sexual violence against children, mother and child health, and strengthening the political involvement of people with disabilities.
© B. Blondel / Handicap International
In Dadaab, the largest refugee camp in the world, Handicap International provides rehabilitation care for the most vulnerable, particularly people with disabilities, and distributes mobility aids such as crutches and wheelchairs. The organisation also ensures that the most vulnerable can access humanitarian aid and builds the capacities of refugee staff to provide rehabilitation services.
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 organisation is providing training in rehabilitation in health centres and in the community. It delivers training to committees of people with disabilities, so they are able to raise community awareness about the violence people with disabilities are subjected to, in particular women with disabilities.
Handicap International is running a regional project "Ubuntu Care" in Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda, to fight against sexual violence against children, notably those with disabilities. The organisation informs children, families, organisations and local authorities about the rights of children with disabilities and works to set up a social and legal system of protection.
At the same time, Handicap International is raising awareness among different ethnic groups in north-west Kenya about the dangers of light weapons. The organisation provides the public with information and is establishing close links with security agencies and members of the community.
Handicap International also works to improve the health of marginalised mothers, infants and young children. The organisation trains local NGOs to implement effective mother and child health services for marginalised populations in Nairobi, particularly people with disabilities.
The organisation is also working with the police on the issue of road safety, in order to establish binding legislation. Handicap International 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. It is also supporting local organisations and services to improve mother and child health in two shanty towns in Nairobi.
Lastly, Handicap International is encouraging people with disabilities to take part in the electoral process in 2017. The organisation produces and distributes information accessible to people with disabilities on how to take part in the next elections. Handicap International also works with political leaders to promote the involvement of people with disabilities in political life.
Kenya is a former British colony that obtained independence in 1963. After post-electoral violence in 2007-2008, the country seems to have recovered a certain level of stability, despite the continuing terrorist threat in the east, near the Somalian border.
In spite of the country’s economic growth there are still substantial levels of poverty and inequality. Half the population lives below the poverty line. Over one in two inhabitants has to live on less than one dollar a day. Conditions for people with disabilities remain precarious, notably in terms of education, health, prevention, and the fight against sexual violence.
Kibera, one of the largest African shanty towns, is situated on the outskirts of the capital Nairobi (over one million inhabitants in an area of 256 hectares, with no water or electricity). Kenya is one of the ten African countries the worst hit by the AIDS virus (400 deaths per day).
The country also has a sizeable refugee population, which is essentially concentrated in the north-east region.