promoting inclusive societies

Kisumu School graduate working as a cobbler
A Community of Excellence

Project Liaison:  Rob Tovey, Bethphage, U.K.

Launched in October 2007, the aim of the Community of Excellence  program is to promote community-based options for graduates of the school in Kisumu, North-West Kenya including:

  • employment

  • in-home support and improved access to healthcare
  • an integrated approach to schools through the training of teaching assistants
  • public advocacy
  • establishment of the Diakonia Compassionate Ministry (DCM) as the focal point for disability work in the Nyanza region.

DCM is a non-governmental organization (NGO) established by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya to undertake a range of community projects, including: widows, orphans, HIV/AIDS and the disability program.

Recent graduate selling water

In a very short time, the program:

  • supports 21 graduates in the community, all of whom have some kind of paid employment

  • integrated 30 children with disabilities into mainstream schools
  • lobbied local and regional government to raise awareness of disability issues.

Staff training

IMPACT has provided four training programs that have included:

  • Philosophy of working with people with disabilities

  • Values that underpin our work
  • Person-centered planning
  • Ethical practice
  • Protection of vulnerable people
  • Health & Safety
  • Supervision
  • Strategic Planning

The training has been led by Bethphage Great Britain, but has also involved two other IMPACT partners -- Mosaic and Bethesda Lutheran Homes and Services, both from the USA.

The Kenya Team

Future plans include more training to support the growth and development of the program, public advocacy to gather financial support from within Kenya, and fundraising to support various capital programs including: kitchen facilities for a lunch program; motorbikes to enable outreach support to meet the needs of rural communities; and improved educational facilities to support the integration of children who have disabilities into mainstream schools.

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