Visually impaired children in West Pokot go digital
St. Francis School for the Visually Impaired in Kapenguria town, West Pokot County, Saturday received computers and furniture worthy Sh 4 million, from the Safaricom Foundation.
The equipment will operationalize a Sh 2.5 million computer lab funded by the National Funds for the Disabled in Kenya (NFDK), Chairperson Kristina Pratt said.
She hailed Safaricom Foundation for the donation and appealed to the county government to partner with them to ensure that the children were comfortable in their quest for knowledge.
Mrs. Pratt further asked the Ministry of Education to allocate candidates with disability more time during the National Examination due to the logistical and physical challenges they faced compared to their counterparts.
“Enough time need to be given to such children during examination. 30 minutes is not enough for someone who has to read using his hand, transfer the information to a Braille machine and then write down the answer,” she reiterated adding “a minimum of one hour should be added.”
Mrs. Pratt added that NFDK spend over sh. 300 million as grants to schools nationally each year in addition to wheelchairs and devices for the Visually Impaired.
The chairperson also donated 20 bags of maize, 4 boxes of cooking oil and 4 bags of flour to mitigate famine in the county.
The County Director of People Living with Disability, Mr. Patrick Lemakong advised the PLWD to come out and be registered in order to have access to the stipulated subsidy, government tenders and bursaries, among many other incentives provided to the disabled by the government.
He urged the locals not to hide or stigmatize the disabled since disability is not inability.
Mr. Lemakong asked the government to start up a vocational rehabilitation centre for those past the school going age.
The head teacher Ms. Joy Ayah thanked the organizations for the donation and further appealed to donors to come forth and help them buy Brailles and other machines, which she claimed were expensive.
“The children are faced with many challenges ranging from environment to facilities. This hilly topography is not conducive for the blind children and the facilities are inadequate. We really need your assistant”, she said.
By John Saina