Government involvement is essential to meeting the needs of children with disabilities. Throughout the world, there is widespread discrimination against people with disabilities, poor implementation of policies designed to protect these individuals, and inadequate funding and legislation in support of people with disabilities. Additionally, some government officials in our focus areas still believe that curses, witchcraft, incest and evil spirits cause disabilities. Correcting these misperceptions of disability through meetings and workshops often inspires government leaders to uphold existing legislation and either develop or expand laws to include children with disabilities.
In Kilifi County, each government representative oversees populations of approximately 5,000 to 15,000 residents. Therefore, working with just a few government officials often has a large impact on community beliefs and behavior toward children and families impacted by disabilities.
- Educate the community about the true causes of disability and the rights of children with disabilities
- Create new disability officer positions at the county level
- Hold families accountable for ensuring their children with disabilities have access to medical care and education
- Improve classrooms and facilities in special needs schools
- Ensure qualified teachers are being hired for special needs schools
- Start vocational institutions that admit students with disabilities
- Increase scholarships for children with disabilities to attend specialized boarding schools
- Arranged for food donations to families of children with disabilities
- Support income generating projects to help families impacted by disability