The M-PESA Foundation has entered into a partnership with CBM Kenya and CURE Kenya hospital to address factors that limit children with disabilities from access, retention and transition in schools.
To address these issues, the three organizations will work together to ensure children with disabilities undergo surgeries, rehabilitation and eventually be placed in learning institutions.
M-PESA Foundation and CBM Kenya have each invested Ksh. 22.5 million, while CURE Kenya will contribute Ksh. 26.5 million towards the joint project valued at Ksh. 74 million.
The Wezesha Elimu project will see over 27 medical mobile clinics held across the country targeting more than 700 children and 300 surgeries. Additionally, 5 schools will have their infrastructure upgraded to enable children with disabilities easier access to learning opportunities while over 100 assistive devices will be distributed.
In 2019, the Safaricom Foundation partnered with CBM Kenya to launch the third phase of the Wezesha Elimu programme. The Foundation committed Ksh. 15 million for the project which targeted over 20,000 people countrywide including children with disabilities and the general public who were also educated on disability rights awareness and inclusive education.
In the first and second phases of the programme, Safaricom Foundation invested over Ksh. 25 million which saw 420 surgeries performed, 535 children with disabilities placed in schools and 384 Mobility assistive devices issued. 347 children also underwent rehabilitation with 879 referred for specialized treatment.
Commenting on the project, Les Baillie, Executive Director, M-PESA Foundation said, “Through the partnership, we aim to increase the enrolment and retention of children with disabilities in learning institutions and reduce the physical barriers which drive away learners from attending classes by revamping infrastructure in select schools. We also want to create awareness about living with disability so that the children with disabilities can access education without discrimination.”
On his part, Joseph Okelo, Chairman CBM Kenya had this to say, “This partnership will help us raise awareness and sensitize Kenyans about the rights of children with disabilities especially when it comes to access to education. From the previous years, we have seen an increased demand for surgical interventions and rehabilitation services as parents and guardians are now empowered with more information.”
Since its inception in 2016, Wezesha Elimu has worked with Safaricom’s other Corporate Social Investment arm, Safaricom Foundation to reach at least 30,000 people countrywide. This includes children with disabilities and the general public who have been educated on disability rights awareness and inclusive education.