Improved livelihoods for the less fortunate
In her 30 years, Tabitha Mutinda has been blessed with four children: three boys and one girl and is married to Mutinda Ndeti. Tabitha and her family reside in the rocky Yatta Plateau of Mbuini village, Kyua Location, Katangi Ward, Yatta Sub-County in Machakos County. Tabitha is the mother of 7-year-old Amos Mutaiti Mutinda, who has a physical impairment. During an antenatal visit, while pregnant with Amos, Tabitha was informed of the baby’s complications but was unable to seek medical attention owing to financial constraints. Tabitha birthed the baby at home, and it developed complications with various body parts. After a series of referrals to hospitals for checkups, the baby was treated but the left limb did not develop as the other body parts ought to be. Tabitha and her husband became anxious and had no choice but to raise the child and possibly enroll him in a special school in the future.
Anglican Development Services Eastern visited the area in 2017 to implement the Livelihood Improvement Project (LIP), and after conducting a Participatory Vulnerability Capacity Assessment (PVCA), it was discovered that persons with disabilities were not participating in community gatherings. As a result, the members were sensitized and thereafter assessed by the NCPWD and later formed the Wendano wa Kyua Special support group whose main purpose was to promote cohesion among the members. The community was also sensitized on the importance of embracing and involving the Persons with disabilities in developmental activities within the community.
When she learned about the circumstances surrounding her last-born child, her greatest fear was that her family would encounter discrimination, a phenomenal that led to most persons who were abled differently kept away from the public eye as it was considered a taboo.
“When Wendano wa Kyua Special group was formed, I joined as a member where I met other parents and guardians of children abled differently. From this I got enough courage as we were able to share our experiences. As a support group we started practicing a monthly merry go round where 2 members benefit with Kshs. 4,000 that is used to address the challenges faced by the members”
“Being the primary care giver of the persons with disabilities, we each were given a goat and trained on goat keeping and management. The goat Amos received from the group has given birthed twice and I get milk that I give to the children. I was also able to sell the first goat after growing for 6,000 shillings and bought a bed for Amos and his sister.”
The group has also been trained on modern basket, jewellery, serviette and key holders weaving a training that Tabitha appreciates as she is now able to make and sell the products locally to get an income. She uses the income to take care of Amos together with the other children.
“When the trainings were conducted 2 months ago, I have been able to sell 4 baskets for 4,800 shillings, 5 key holders for 350 shillings, 1 necklace for 100 shillings and 2 pairs or ear rings for 100 shillings amounting to Kshs. 5,350. The making of the weaving products has given me an opportunity to get income since I am a stay home mother as well as helping my husband take care of the family as he is a casual worker and he earns very minimal wages.”
Tabitha plans hopes to raise income to buy more material so that she is able to display her products to the nearby market centres. She is happy ADSE has empowered her through different trainings and life has changed even for persons with disabilities and their care givers.
In the recent assessment done by NCPWD, Amos has been assessed and advised him to enroll in a not special school as he is improving and he would cope well. The news was of great relief to the parents as they were not in a financially stable to enroll him in a special school and would result in a delayed education milestone. Amos now is a pupil at Kwa Kiai Primary school together with the other siblings.