Kenya Re on a mission to bolster investment group programmes for persons with disability in Kisumu

The Niko Fiti – Ability beyond disability campaign embarked on its final CSR initiative this year in Kisumu County on Friday 25th November 2016 at the Tom Mboya Labour College.

The Kisumu edition focused on increased investment and financing cohorts among people with disabilities, to assert their involvement in the country’s economic development while improving their livelihoods.

The event saw beneficiaries from Kisumu, Siaya, Kisii, Nyamira, Migori, Vihiga and Bondo counties receive 70 mobile vending units, 75 canes, 75 slates, 75 stylus and 75 packets of adult diapers. It was presided over by Kenya Re’s Managing Director, Mr. Jadiah Mwarania. Also present was the National Chairman of the Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK) Mr. Fred Owako, and Director, Mr. Gideon Muga.

The Ksh32 Million CSR project was informed by the statistics that over 3.4 percent of Kenya’s total population lived with a form of disability. A national survey on persons with disability, conducted in 2007, revealed that the most prevalent form of disability was physical, followed by visual impairment.

About 50.4 percent of women had some form of disability, compared to men. Diseases were found to be the main cause of disability, responsible for 19 percent of cases, followed by congenital reasons at 14 percent, accidents at 12 percent, and other causes.

The research also identified rural areas as having larger populations of persons with disabilities, with about a quarter of the cases found in those places.

Generally, 25 percent of persons with disabilities experience moderate difficulties, which results in restriction to daily living activities. Niko Fiti Na Kenya Re has this year empowered the lives of over 1000 beneficiaries in Nairobi, Mombasa, Eldoret and Kisumu counties.

With continued support and partnership by Kenya RE, APDK held a one-day intensive training to equip the 70 mobile vending units beneficiaries with knowledge on leadership and governance, existing policies on disabilities, group dynamics and the importance of initiating organisations for advocacy and support.

In addition, they were given insights into financial management, basic record keeping and entrepreneurship skills. The training further included budget planning and monitoring progress for business growth.

The skills acquired through such training will help beneficiaries to succeed in business, support their families and generally contribute to community and national productivity.

Speaking during the event, Mr. Mwarania said that the 2016 CSR initiative aimed at protecting and ensuring equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities (PWDs).

“The country is currently experiencing a favourable investment climate championed by an aggressive private sector. We want PWDs to be part of this positive story.  With the training offered, we hope that we will inspire individual and investment group programmes that will explore ingenious funding ideas to subsequently help people with disability and their families combat poverty and access greater support to plan for the future.”

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