It is the joy of every mother to deliver a healthy and bouncing baby. That was not the case for Florence Arum, mother to 5 year old cerebral palsy patient. Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder caused by brain injury or malfunction that occurs while the child’s brain is developing or during birth when oxygen cannot reach the brain. The condition lasts a life time and one requires specialized care.

Since 1992 the International Day of Persons with Disabilities has been celebrated annually on 3rd of December. This year main aim is to champion “Sustainable inclusion of persons with disabilities”. Today’s event began with a procession that was flagged off at the office of the District County Commissioner’s office in Kibera Sub-location, by the Assistant Chief Asia Suleiman Ramadhan at 10 am and culminated at Paolo’s Home. Paolo’s Home is Koinonia Community initiative that offers free physiotherapy services to children with disabilities in Kibera.Present at the event were various organizations that cater for people with disabilities, adults and children living with different forms of disabilities, parents to children with disability as well as members of the community.

For Florence and other parents with children with disability, today they are here counting their blessings and letting the world know about people with disabilities. It is important for the world to know about the challenges people with disabilities go through but even more important is to know how people with disabilities can be empowered to be self-reliant.

According to Ngao Mwavunah who works with Action Network for the Disabled (ANDY), it is important for people with disabilities to be empowered to achieve their goals. “People with disabilities should not be isolated in the community” states Ngao, “what people with disability need is assistive devices to enable them execute various tasks” he further adds. Ngao is keen to champion inclusion of people with disability stating that the idea of having special units for children with disability helps in integration rather than inclusion. Mary Auma mother to 5 year old Down syndrome child, further adds that it is important that teachers acquire training on how to handle children with special needs as this would enable them cater to their needs effectively.

As the event came to an end it is crystal clear that “disability is not inability” and all the community needs to do is to support and empower people with disabilities in achieving their goals.