Kenya Reinsurance Corporation Limited (Kenya Re), in collaboration with the Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK), has today flagged off the Niko Fiti Campaign 2022, which will see 969 assistive and mobility devices donated to 634 persons with disability (PWD’s) in Kenya.
The initiative is informed by data from the Kenya National Survey on Persons with Disability that revealed that only 26 percent of them had access to assistive devices. When compared to their counterparts in rural areas (21%), more PWD’s in urban areas (36%) utilised assistive devices. In terms of perceptions, many surveyed communities viewed disability as a curse and disgrace to the family, which led to mistreatment and neglect. The study recommends sensitization and awareness campaigns to guarantee the community’s support as one of the key measures to address the challenge.
The Niko Fiti initiative has so far transformed the lives of over 11,000 PWD’s who have benefited from assistive and mobility devices since inception of the program in 2011. The campaign will this year visit Busia County from 1st to 3rd December 2022. The distributions will be at the Amukura DC Grounds, Samia DC Grounds and finish at the Busia Stadium where the largest number of beneficiaries (230) will be attended to and receive 350 mobility and assistive devices. In total 400 beneficiaries will benefit from 600 devices. Thereafter the campaign will shift to Kwale county where 234 beneficiaries will receive 369 mobility and assistive devices.
Speaking in Nairobi during the flag off event, Kenya Re Managing Director, Mr. Jadiah Mwarania, said the campaign is meant to lift the stigma towards people with disabilities and provide devices that will enable them have accessibility and mobility to engage in social and community life. “As we look forward to the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3rd, it is important to further amplify the needs of PWD’s in Kenya in line with the theme of providing transformative solutions for inclusive development. We can only move towards a transformative and inclusive future if all members of a community are empowered to contribute to development.”
Through the partnership with APDK, Kenya Re will have access to the Association’s Nationwide distribution network, which will be used to identify and assess the needs of PWDs and fabrication of the devices in major towns. The focus for this year’s Niko Fiti donation drive will be Busia and Kwale counties. APDK implements community interventions using the community-based rehabilitation (CBR) and outreach plus models to reach out to persons with disability in marginalised communities and Kenya Re supports the initiative.
“Despite the progress made by the Kenyan Government, gaps continue to persist in certain areas due to a number of challenges that hinder the realisation of full disability inclusion,” said Mr. Mwarania. Over the last 11 years, Kenya Re through its NIKO FITI has impacted over 11,000 persons with disability from across 28 counties in Kenya. Additionally, the Corporation undertook a legacy project at the Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE) where we adopted a block dedicated to the rehabilitation of the physically challenged. The block comprises of a hydrotherapy pool, occupational therapy room, physiotherapy room and state of the art rehabilitation gym.
A PWD Integration program was also undertaken at two National High Schools namely, the Lenana School and Moi Girls Isinya. The program saw the modification of school facilities such as the refurbishment of the sanatorium and student cubicles as well as construction of ramps in both schools to enable efficient mobility.
In 2018, the Governments of Kenya, and the United Kingdom and the International Disability Alliance co-hosted the Global Disability Summit (GDS 2018). The Summit aimed was to transform the lives of persons with disabilities by raising global attention and focus on a hugely neglected area, mobilizing new global and national commitments to meet and implement the ambition set out in the global goals and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD), and showcasing best practice and evidence from across the world.
The Government of Kenya has continued to leverage the private sector to accelerate progress towards fulfilling the commitments it made. Similarly, Kenya Re has recognised the power of partnerships over the years and has leveraged this model to make long-term and sustainable impact through Niko Fiti. This year marks the eleventh edition of the campaign since inception.