Kenya has a population of 42 million people with an estimated 17,000 deafblind people.
Families are often overwhelmed by the practical and emotional challenges of caring for a deafblind child – and may be ostracised by their local community.
Without support from Sense International, deafblind children will often lead harsh, short lives.
Sense International (Kenya) started supporting deafblind children and young adults in 2005. There are five schools with primary education units for deafblind children in the country and five vocational centres which we have supported with training, by providing materials and by helping set up two specialist deafblind units.
Watch our subtitled video that briefly outlines the work we do in East Africa.
We work with government and education institutions to improve deafblind/MSI people's access to appropriate education. We have:
- Helped train 35 Special Needs Teachers and have provided learning materials for the schools we work in, so that deafblind / MSI students can receive a high quality education.
- Supported ten specialist deafblind education centres, five for primary education and five which educate young adults in vocational skills.
- We are transforming these ten deafblind education centres into Deafblind Resource Centres so that they will also provide specialist assessments for all deafblind people as well as community-based education services.
- Specialist deafblind education units in Nairobi and Kitui have been expanded with our support.
- Since 2011 we have provided home-based services for 204 children and have trained 38 community workers and 92 other professionals so that these children can receive physiotherapy, help with communication and life skills training.
"Meeting with my fellow parents, being trained to communicate with my girl and knowing that I am not the only one with a deafblind child. This is a source of hope to me, turning around the hopelessness I had three years ago."
Campaigning and advocacy
We lobbied successfully for the inclusion of the needs of deafblind / MSI children in the Special Needs Education Policy – and will continue to advocate and campaign until deafblind people are recognised, accepted and valued in Kenya.
We supported families to set up The Kenya Parents of Deafblind People Organisation which now has 345 members and has spearheaded the campaign for recognition of deafblind children's education.
We are campaigning for the government of Kenya to immunise against rubella – which causes thousands of children to be born deafblind when their mothers catch this during pregnancy.
People's stories from Kenya: Abby | Stephen | Daniel
Funded project: National rubella immunisation programme in Kenya
Funded project: Community-based education in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda
Funded project: Project Wezesha, The Wezesha Story
Blog: Journey to Nairobi
News from Kenya
Contact Sense International (Kenya)
Sense International (Kenya)
(Postal address: PO Box 53597, 00200 Nairobi, Kenya)
Tel: +254 (0) 20 3755 128
First published: Thursday 27 June 2013
Last updated: Tuesday 6 January 2015