CHILDREN'S RIGHTS

Help children with special needs, lobbies say

They lack caregivers who can fully pay attention to them and their needs.

In Summary

• The lobbies have  called on the government to provide free primary education for all children to ensure no child will be left home because of lack of fees when schools re-open

•The agency encouraged residents to practice farming to ensure they can feed their families and children after harvest.

A mother with her child during an event to mark the World Cerebral Palsy Day in Mombasa on Tuesday.
A mother with her child during an event to mark the World Cerebral Palsy Day in Mombasa on Tuesday.
Image: PILI CHIMERAH

Lobbies have expressed worry over the state of children with special needs in the wake of Covid-19.

According to Childfund Kenya, government support for children has reduced since school closures in March.

“Now that most schools are closed, children with special needs do not have the right infrastructure such as the government support they used to receive, wheelchairs and latrines,” ChildFund Kenya Emali and Kajiado programme coordinator Cyprian Muriuki said.

 

Children with special needs are also lacking caregivers who can fully pay attention to them and their needs.

This has been attributed to the harsh economic times occasioned by Covid-19 and parents spending more time outside fending for their children.

The two lobbies launched a programme in Nzaui and Mashuuru sub-counties, to support 3,511 children, 32 of whom have special needs.

The programme is in line with the year’s theme on the universal children’s day that focused on children’s rights.

“We are focusing on post-Covid. We are providing 1,200 households with at least two goats so that once they give birth, they can sell them and pay school fees,” Kariuki.

Emali has also supported the vulnerable families with Universal Health Cards fully-paid for a year to ensure all children in such households are fully covered in case of health emergencies and referrals.

The agency encouraged residents to practice farming to ensure they can feed their families and children after harvest.

 

To further ensure the well-being of all children, the lobbies called on the government to provide free primary education for all children to ensure no child will be left home because of lack of fees.

"More classrooms should be built to accommodate those children who may not be able to join their former school after they were closed due to corona," Felix Syuki, ChildFund Kenya Emali and Kajiado sponsor relations officer said.