It is estimated that there are more than four million people with disabilities in Kenya many of whom are isolated from society, the poorest of the poor, live in remote areas of the country and do not have access to health care services.
Many disability centers and clinics in Africa are underfunded and lack the proper equipment and training to serve their disabled population. And often most of the wheelchairs donated to these clinics are of poor quality, not properly fitted, and inappropriate for the climate and terrain. Uhambo has experienced demand from organizations and governmental departments to establish an effective wheelchair enterprise model in various regions of Africa in order to reach more people with disabilities.
This is unacceptable.
Uhambo's wheelchair center or “hub” will improve the quality of life for some of the most marginalized and underserved people in Africa – people with disabilities – and will serve as a model to be replicated throughout southern Africa. The center is targeting 4,500 persons with disabilities in the northeastern Kenya and Nairobi region and its services will impact approximately 31,000 people.
The Wheelchair Center will offer:
- Access to high-quality, modular wheelchairs that are customizable to the unique mobility and posture support needs of each user
- Clinical support and therapy that includes a customized chair for each individual
- Training for parents, caregivers, teachers, and other healthcare professionals to help them support wheelchair users lead normal, productive lives
- Repair and maintenance for wheelchairs
- Job skill development for people with disabilities
- Local community and government advocacy for people with disabilities to create social awareness and change - stigma of people with disabilities is one of the biggest obstacles
Uhambo has been awarded a Challenge Grant of $15,000 and is raising matching funds to support the start up of a wheelchair center in Kenya. We've also been awarded a Micro-Grant by MIT’s D-Lab International Development Innovation Network (IDIN). The center will be a pilot and be a model for other locations — Uganda and Malawi are also ready to launch a center. It is projected that this center can be financially sustainable within 1 – 3 years.
Your donation will provide the following:
- $20 will go towards meals for a wheelchair technician during training
- $30 sponsors one hour of training for a wheelchair technician
- $50 provides transportation assistance for wheelchair technicians in training when they are out in the field at off site clinics
- $150 covers a day of technical training for one wheelchair technician
- $260 provides a full day of operations training for the small team that will run the wheelchair center
- $500 covers one day of a 5 day evaluation of the Nairobi facility to determine what tools & supplies are needed and to assess the skill level of the technicians to ensure success of the center
Uhambo serves some of the most vulnerable people -- people (often children) with disabilities at the base of the pyramid in hard-to-reach areas. Uhambo builds on over 25 years of experience in Africa by partnering with a long-standing and award-winning social entrepreneurial organization, Shonaquip and the Uhambo Foundation. Uhambo’s mission is to develop US partnerships to scale our enterprise-based model and have a greater impact for people with disabilities in various regions of Africa. Our model tackles multiple challenges for this sector including job training, employment, development / empowerment, and access to appropriate products and services and provides social change and innovative products and a delivery model.