Kenya Re releases 100 devices in another ‘Niko Fiti’ campaign

By - LONAH KIBET | Jul 13, 2013


KENYA: The Kenya Reinsurance Corporation (Kenya Re) flagged off 100 assistive devices on Thursday as part of the second phase of the “Niko Fiti- Ability Beyond Disability” campaign. This second part, valued at Sh21 million will be rolled out in three stages and is expected to have delivered 300 devices by the end of the year.

The aim of this second stage is to provide children and adults living with various forms of physical disability across the country with customised assistive devices. The phase shall be covered in three legs that shall tour the whole country providing relief to persons living with disability.

The first leg shall cover the Central and Upper Eastern region over a period of two days while the second phase shall target beneficiaries in Rift Valley, Nyanza and Western in September. The last leg shall be flagged off in December and will be aimed at beneficiaries living in Lower Eastern and Coast.

Niko Fiti is the flagship of Kenya Re in partnership with The Standard Group and the Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK). Speaking during the flag off ceremony held at Kenya Reinsurance Plaza, the corporations’ Managing Director Jadiah Mwarania said the campaign was aimed at sharing and upholding the spirit of equality and non-discrimination towards the society including those living with any form of disability as outlined in the Kenyan Constitution.

“This campaign specifically targets the physically challenged. It is not only meant to support them but also make them feel cared and appreciated for in the society,” said Mr Mwarania.

He said they would also ensure that two APDK rehabilitation centres with the capacity to empower and assist persons with physical disabilities and mobility impairment were built by the end of the year.

Kenya Re Chairman Nelius Kariuki called on insurance service providers to consider providing packages that can help alleviate the challenges being faced by families and individuals with disabilities. She also appealed to the Government to implement economic plans to improve the lives of persons with disability to enable them play a role in towards the national economic development agenda.

APDK Founder and National Chairman Moody Awori appealed to the government to assist children struggling with any form of disability in their education quest.

“Kenyan Children living with disabilities are not fully benefiting from the free primary education because they lack the physical assistive devices needed. This is an area the government needs to explore exhaustively because they are very expensive and most of these parents are from very poor backgrounds,” said Dr Awori.

Several parents whose children benefited from the donations while speaking to The Standard On Saturday expressed their relief after receiving the wheel chairs for the adults and special seats for the children below the age of 18.

One of the beneficiaries parent Faith Kagai, 29, said she gave birth to a healthy baby boy seven years ago only for the situation to change when he turned 11 months.

Victor David was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and could no longer walk. His father abandoned them saying the condition was alien to his family.

“Aliniambia familia yao sio ya viwete na akutuwacha (he told me his family does not have physically challenged people and left us),” said Ms Kagai.

She said for the years that followed it was hard for her to solely provide for her son while also nursing him full time. She added that the current addition of an 11-month old baby also added to her burden of having to carry both of them.

She greatly appreciated the special seat saying she could now go about her duties without having to worry about her son.

“I can now carry my small baby and push Victor as I go about my saloon business. Most of my clients prefer to be braided at their homes,” she said while smiling.

Niko Fiti began in 2011 and has made notable strides in de-stigmatising disability and enabling persons living with disability engage in daily community, social and nation building activities. Since its inception, Niko Fiti has provided assistive and supportive devices to over 100 beneficiaries.

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