The National and County governments in Kenya have received a compelling call to address not only the challenges faced by People Living with Disabilities (PWDs) but also the struggles encountered by their caregivers. Spearheaded by individuals like Ms. Lincy Nasimiyu, a mother to a 10-year-old girl with Cerebral Palsy, this advocacy highlights the significant burden of stigma experienced by caregivers in society.

Nasimiyu, a single mother, emphasized the profound love and sacrifice inherent in caregiving, underscoring the need for recognition and support for caregivers who often forego economic opportunities due to the demands of their responsibilities. She expressed concern over the lack of inclusion of caregivers in government assistance programs, such as the Inua Jamii Programme, which primarily focuses on providing stipends to PWDs.

Transportation costs to therapy centers further exacerbate the financial strain on caregivers, reflecting the intricate challenges they face in ensuring the well-being of their loved ones. Violet Imbwaga, another caregiver, echoed Nasimiyu’s sentiments, highlighting the extensive care required for her 24-year-old son who is fully dependent due to complications from meningitis.

Imbwaga emphasized the need for economic empowerment initiatives for caregivers to combat stigma and recognize caregiving as a noble responsibility rather than a punishment. She stressed the importance of promoting inclusivity and supporting advocacy efforts to improve the overall well-being of PWDs and their caregivers.

As March marks Cerebral Palsy (CP) Awareness month, parents and guardians of individuals with disabilities emphasize the importance of societal acceptance and support. CP, characterized by impaired muscle control, poses significant challenges to affected individuals, necessitating increased awareness and understanding within society.

The construction of an Empowerment Center for PWDs in Nandi County exemplifies local efforts to provide comprehensive support and empowerment for individuals with disabilities and their caregivers. This initiative aims to foster financial, emotional, and spiritual support for PWDs while equipping caregivers with skills for financial independence.

Despite progress, challenges persist, with many disabled individuals remaining undisclosed about their condition. This underscores the ongoing need for collaborative efforts across stakeholders to promote inclusivity, support, and empowerment for individuals with disabilities and their caregivers.

Leave a Reply