Discovering ways to answer disability questions
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Discovering Ways to Answer Disability Questions. By Paul Lindoewood. Who Am I?. Thirty years worked experience in the field of Disability Equality, Independent Living and Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) in Britain and Kenya

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Discovering Ways to Answer Disability Questions

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Discovering ways to answer disability questions

Discovering Ways to Answer Disability Questions


Paul Lindoewood

Who am i

Who Am I?

  • Thirty years worked experience in the field of Disability Equality, Independent Living and Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) in Britain and Kenya

  • Founding Coordinator of the Methodist Church in Kenya Disability Programme

  • Founding Director of the Meru North Disability Community Centre (DCC)

  • Developing “Disability in Wales and Africa”

Focus on meru north

Focus on Meru North

  • Meru North, formerly known as Nyambene and, came out of the Greater Meru District

  • It is east of Mount Kenya, embracing fertile highland and arid lowland areas.

  • Maua, the main town, has a Methodist Hospital where my wife & I were based

  • Meru North District is now Igembe North, and South, and Tigania East and West

The story behind the dcc

The Story Behind The DCC

  • A Grandfather, very near to retirement, asked me to care fore his severely disabled Grandson

  • The child had very little, if any, ability to see or hear, as well as having severe mobility, dexterity and intellectual impairments

  • The child was clearly seen as a burden to the family and community

  • Could / should the child live within the same?

The dcc had three names

The DCC Had Three Names

  • A Disabled Children’s Clinic (in hospital)

    • Medical Clinic, joined by Education Assessment, supported by a Therapist where possible

  • A Disabled Children’s Centre

    • Same activities as before but now developing as Centre, and Outreach, Clinics

  • A Disability Community Centre

    • All activities as above, but supported by an increasing emphases on Community Development

Community based rehabilitation cbr

Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR)

  • CBR understood in many different ways;

    • Therapy and Medical services at community level

    • Disabled people’s community participation

      • Integrated and Inclusive Education

      • Income Generation

    • Raising Community Awareness of Disability Issues

      • Advocacy and Campaigning Work through;

        • Disabled People’s Organisations (DPO)

        • Parents and Friends of Disabled Association (PAFODA)

Dpo and pafoda involvement

DPO and PAFODA Involvement

  • Mutual Support and Companionship

  • Highlighting the Need of Group Represented

  • Conducting Advocacy and Campaign Work

  • Other Involvement Include;

    • Distribution of Famine Relief

    • Locating Individuals and Families in need of help

    • Channel for information and techniques to reach community level

Community rehabilitation

Community Rehabilitation (?)

  • All CBR, and other, activities are means to an end rather than ends in themselves

  • The vision is disabled people’s full, active and participatory community membership

  • Community Development is a long process

  • Progress can be difficult to see and analyse

  • However, when disability issues are raised, communities can and do respond

A bridge over a ditch

A Bridge /Over a Ditch

The story behind the bridge

The story behind the Bridge

  • A father contacts the DCC requesting that his daughter, a wheelchair user, should attend school.

  • There is a ditch, with an old bridge, between the family home and the local school.

  • The DCC contacts the Chief who organises the village workmen to make the bridge stronger.

  • With a stronger bridge the daughter does not need to attend a special school, but goes to her local one.

A seat enables participation

A Seat Enables Participation

Harambee for my child s seat

“Harambee” For My Child’s Seat?

  • (Harambee is Swahili for “let’s pull together”)

  • This story starts a mother seeing the value of a Corner Seat for her child. It will cost 400Ksh

  • The mother only has 200Ksh

  • Another mother says she can give 100Ksh

  • A third person contributes 50Ksh

  • Two more people offer 25Ksh each.

  • 200 + 100 + 50 + 25 + 25 = 400Ksh.

Business development

Business Development

Rehabilitating the banks

Rehabilitating the BankS

  • Financing Disabled People left to Donors not Banks

  • Programme developed to overcome this Barrier

    • In the Beginning (2004)

      • KSh200,000 Deposited in a SACCO (Credit Union) Bank

      • The Security enabled KSh50,000 of “Bank’s money” to be invested, supporting 25 people from 3 DPOs.

    • Present Day (2010/11)

      • Security repaid to DCC (2008)

      • At least KSh6,000,000 in circulation, from 8 “Banks”, investing in 600 people from 60 DPOs

Points learnt from our story

Points Learnt From Our Story

  • The Disabled Community should not remain the problem, they are fundamental to the solution

  • Withdrawal from the community should be option of last re-sought

  • An Holistic Approach to Disability Work is Essential if we are going to achieve our vision

  • In Africa the Community is Everything

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