Ezekiel’s Story...From Exclusion to Inclusion

Tuesday 12 December 2017

By David Erot

Children with disabilities able to join in play time at school, Turkana County—Kenya

EZEKIEL is 16-years old—at the age of one, when he started trying to walk, his parents noticed he had physical disabilities. While his disability is attributed to Polio, his parents believed it a curse.

Brought up in Lokitaung, in north-western Kenya’s Turkana County, Ezekiel’s upbringing was frought with hostility and rejection by a community that believed him cursed and bad luck.

Without access to a wheelchair, Ezekiel crawled to get around the village, and continuously dropped out of school, due to being unable to easily cover the 2km distance there and back, easily.

Save the Children’s From Exclusion to Inclusion programme funded by Christian Blind Mission (CBM) referred Ezekiel to be assessed for a wheelchair, and purchased a tricycle chair for him.

Since having the chair, Ezekiel has resumed attending school, and his attendance has been above average for the class.

It cost 18,000 Kenyan Shillings (approximately $180 USD) to cover all costs for Ezekiel to be referred and fitted for a wheelchair, and the purchase of the chair.

Without such interventions, he would have remained out of school. An educated (and formally employed) Kenyan contributes, on average, 92,000 KES in taxes per annum (~$900), illustrating the enormous contribution an educated individual makes over their lifetime, when investment in children with disabilities is made.

Project Information:
Save the Children has been delivering the CBM funded ‘From Exclusion to Inclusion’ programme in Turkana County between 2015-2017. 2,523 children with disabilities have been directly supported.

The programme has: raised awareness of the rights of children with disabilities; built capacity within ministry teams on corrective procedures; provided surgical and rehabilitative support to children as well as provision of aids; and advocated for accountable county budgets for children with disabilities, and effective implementation of laws. The programme has
⦁ Successful advocacy for the creation of the Turkana County Disability Act 2017
⦁ Seen a 1000% increase in enrolment and attendance of children with disabilities in one school.

For more information, contact Save the Children Kenya’s Director of Programme  Development and Quality, Jane Mutua: jane.mutua@savethechildren.org