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State of the World’s Children 2013 report launch – Children With Disability

Kirstin Bostelmann, CBM Acting Regional Director, giving her remarks at the State of the World s Children 2013 report launch

Kirstin Bostelmann, CBM Acting Regional Director, giving her remarks at the State of the World s Children 2013 report launch

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on 1st August 2013 in partnership with the Government of Kenya, Christian Blind Mission (CBM), Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE), the National Council for Persons With Disability (NCPWD) and the United Disabled Persons of Kenya (UDPK) hosted a breakfast for several policy makers to launch the State of the World’s Children 2013 report – Children With Disability, the Kenyan report.

This followed the main report launch in May 2013 in Vietnam and focussed on the position of children with disability. The launch in Kenya was themed: Supporting inclusion at birth, at school and in life.

Supporting inclusion at birth, at school and in life

pupils in school uniform reciting a poem on stage besides a UNICEF banner

Pupils from the (Kenya Institute of Special Education) KISE Integrated School recite a poem

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on 1st August 2013 in partnership with the Government of Kenya, Christian Blind Mission (CBM), Kenya Institute of Special Education(KISE), the National Council for Persons With Disability(NCPWD) and the United Disabled Persons of Kenya (UDPK) hosted a breakfast for several policy makers to launch the State of the World’s Children 2013 report – Children With Disability, the Kenyan report.

The main report was launched in May 2013 in Vietnam and focused on the position of children with disabilities in a varying worldwide landscape: how do they fare at home, in school, or in health care centers? What happens to children with disabilities in emergencies or conflict? How do these situations fluctuate around the world? The report asks readers to consider the lost opportunities that deny children with disabilities their full potential.
The launch in Kenya was aimed at amplifying these issues. Furthermore, the launch presented a chance to review vital information on the state of children with disability in Kenya based on the theme – “Supporting inclusion at birth, at school and in life”.

Policy makers challenged on inclusiveness

UNICEF Country Director, Marcel Rudasingwa giving his speech during the State of the World s Children 2013 report launch

UNICEF Country Director, Marcel Rudasingwa giving his speech during the State of the World s Children 2013 report launch

Children with disability were the main guests at the launch. Children from CBM’s partner Kambui School for the Deaf, Kilimani Primary School and KISE integrated school had an opportunity to address the guests through thematic poetry and songs.

Ms. Kirstin Lee Bostelmann, the acting Regional Director for CBM East Africa Region acknowledged the Ministry of Education and other Government Ministries for demonstrating great commitment towards inclusion of children with disability. Before she signed off she gave a message to the members of parliament present in the house saying, “We would like to request that you take back to parliament the message of inclusiveness”.
In his speech, the UNICEF Country Representative Mr. Marcel Rudasyngwa reiterated that, “Marginalised children with disability have a right to raise their voices”, urging the policy makers to take up the challenge of speaking on their behalf.
a gentleman giving a speech beside a UNICEF & CBM & KISE  banner

Issac Mwaura, Chairman of the Kenya Disabled Parliamentarians Caucus giving his remarks at the State of the World’s Children 2013 report launch

In his speech read by a representative, the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Education, Prof. Jacob Thuranira Kaimenyi, outlined the Government of Kenya‘s commitment to inclusive education.  He noted that the government had passed the Education ACT of 2013 that caters for inclusion, the allocation of Ksh. 500 million to set up special needs institutions, disbursement of over two billion Kenya Shillings grants to institutions of special needs for subsidized school meals, training of over 10,000 teachers to teach in special needs institutions and disbursement of 400 million shillings to top up grants for the procurement of special devices to mention but a few.

In a high spirited speech, the Chairman of the Kenya Disabled Parliamentarian Caucus Hon. Isaac Mwaura noted that the times when people with disabilities were not visible in society were long gone and that time had come for them to prove that they were capable of taking up challenges just as well as anyone. Hon. Mwaura went ahead to acknowledge CBM’s efforts in working with people with disabilities noting that; “the first pair of spectacles I got while in Thika School for the Blind was sponsored by CBM.”

CBM commended for preaching inclusion

a lady signing on a banner to show commitment

Kirstin Bostelmann, CBM Acting Regional Director, signs a pledge to have children with disability included at birth, at school and in life.

In his remarks, the chairman of the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, Mr. John S. Halake noted that the children in attendance were blessed with so many abilities. All that was needed is a conducive environment and opportunities to nurture these special gifts. Mr. Halake also echoed Hon. Mwaura’s commendation to CBM for their efforts to take the message of inclusiveness to remote parts of Kenya having met them in the course of his duty in Isiolo town.

The highlight of the event was captured in the handover of copies of the report to the Guests by child representatives from the three schools. Invited policy makers went ahead to show their commitment by appending their signatures to a new national call “Supporting Inclusion at Birth, At School and in Life.”
[table width ="100%" style ="table-bordered table-hover" responsive ="true"] [table_head][/table_head] [table_body] [table_row] [row_column]Download report here

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