"Our work in Kenya gives me a lot of satisfaction – I see the transformed lives. But together, we can do more.”

Our Ready, Willing and Able appeal is now half-way to target so Peter, our Regional Director for Africa, explains more about the impact the funds raised will have on our work in Kenya.

A year ago, Peter worked with a disabled woman who was close to ending her life. She had given up any hope of things improving. But when she was able to get a wheelchair from Motivation and training on how to use it, everything changed. She had the mobility, freedom and confidence to start a small business. Today she is independent, and is able to feed her children and keep them in school.

Our Ready, Willing and Able appeal is supporting disabled people like the woman Peter told us about - disabled people who are ready for change, willing to play an active part in society, and able to take control of their lives. This project is about improving confidence and giving people the opportunities they need to work their way out of poverty.

In Kenya, we have people with disabilities who are well educated but they don’t have access to employment.

"The 2003 Persons with Disabilities Act states that “no person shall deny a person with disability access to opportunities for suitable employment” and that “employers shall reserve five per cent direct employment for persons with disabilities”." Peter explains. 

"Unfortunately this policy is still inadequately implemented, largely because employers do not have the right mind-set. I have also been told first hand by local partners and disability groups in Nairobi, that “while the government [is] very serious about getting people with disabilities into employment, there is still a perception that people with disabilities can’t do things.”

This is why we must ensure the disability policy becomes reality and why I am delighted that the funds raised from this appeal will help tackle these issues head on.

Aside from giving disabled people essential training, Motivation and our partners will be talking to employers and governments so they can better accommodate disabled people in the workplace. What’s more, we will approach the transport industry to ensure there is suitable public transport for disabled people to get to work.

There are an estimated 4.4 million disabled people in Kenya and 1.16 million of these are thought to have mobility disabilities. They represent some of the most vulnerable members of society, unable to access basic services such as healthcare, education and employment. 67% of them are estimated as being out of work and living in poverty.

I want to get the best for Kenya and for Africa, and I want to see disabled people enjoy a good quality of life.

“We have worked in Kenya for over six years and this project is born out of the need we have encountered in our day-to-day operation.

It hurts to see disabled people not getting jobs because they do not have wheelchairs. So this project will help to ensure that they are living full lives like everyone else – that they have equal opportunities and are seen as equal citizens.”

This project will support over 250 wheelchair users in Kenya and help them to access work, so that they can provide for themselves and their families.

Wheelchair users like Jane.

“Now I know it is my right to work.

The training gave me the knowledge and confidence to advocate for employment rights and opportunities and appropriate wheelchairs. I dream that one day I can become a politician. I will be able to help more people with disabilities."

Firstly, we will provide training run by wheelchair users for wheelchair users in health management and mobility skills, so that disabled people understand the importance of looking after themselves, checking for pressure sores, plus bladder and bowel management as this will impact on their ability to remain healthy, independent and ready to work.

Then, we will provide training in job seeking skills and disability rights, providing disabled people with both the practical knowledge and crucially the confidence to pursue employment opportunities on a level playing field to everyone else.

Finally, we will also work with communities and businesses to challenge the discrimination that leads to the exclusion of disabled people in society and in the workplace. This will include raising awareness of legislation around the employment of disabled people, highlighting the benefits of an inclusive workforce and making modifications to workplaces.

To everyone who supports us in the UK, it is a big, big thank you. Our impact is immeasurable. The transformation of lives is amazing.

If you haven’t already, there is still time to donate to our Ready, Willing and Able appeal.

If you make your donation before the 3rd March 2018, it will be doubled by the UK Government meaning it will go twice as far. All match-funding will go towards our project supporting disabled people in Kenya to access work.