Family Empowerment Program

Family Empowerment Program

Family is a cornerstone of our community. Strong and vibrant family is built on healthy reciprocating relationships. It is built on trust and respect for each family member. The family should promote the human rights of the person with intellectual disability and build upon the spirit of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”

For KAIH, “family” refers not only to parents and siblings but to the extended family and institutions with whom the person with intellectual disability chooses to be their place of residence and where and with whom they live on an equal basis with others.

The family empowerment program aims at fostering healthy families by creating conditions that allow the family to be agents of positive change in their community. This program consists of a wide range of interventions tailored specifically to the family needs. These include seminars to educate families, counseling, home visits for psychosocial support, and economic empowerment to start up and own business

Key Programs

Families & Self-advocacy
From self-advocates perspective families are their biggest support. Without strong support and encouragement from families, people with intellectual disabilities remain isolated and excluded from their communities.
Understanding the roles and experiences of families who are fighting for the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities (in school, community, employment etc.) is important for self-advocacy.

Families that is successful in supporting people with intellectual disabilities to be included the community and in becoming strong self-advocates has created opportunities to build relationships and networks. Having a network of support to people with intellectual disabilities is the foundation for inclusion and self-determination.

Role of family in self-advocacy

There are various ways a family can work with people with intellectual disabilities to gain the skills and abilities to become a self-advocate.

These includes:

  • The family can make sure that people with intellectual disabilities are always included in family and community life. This makes sure people with intellectual disabilities feel valued, accepted and part of the world. It helps people with intellectual disabilities to understand their rights and responsibilities as a member of society and helps others in the community to understand and accept disability.
  • Often a family has been advocating for the self-advocates since they were young. They have enabled people like doctors; teachers or service providers know what kind of support the self-advocate needs. Always including self-advocates in conversations will make sure that the self-advocates understand about the need to speak up for themselves.

Families Support forums

Sharing information and experiences with other families has enabled the families and the people with intellectual disabilities to be part of a larger community.

The objective of families’ forums:

  • To access to up to date information on human rights.  Families play a critical role in securing access to education, employment, health care, recreation and community services.
  • To involve families support networks
  • To build a working relation with both political and administrative offices with the families.

Key issues from the families forum:

  • Appropriate diet- a group of families who have family members with autism believe diet intervention may work for some individuals.
  • Applying for National Identity Cards – once self-advocates attain the age of 18 they have to acquire identity card as proof of citizenship
  • High cost of Medication- access to epilepsy drugs and therapy services ( speech, physio and occupational)
  • Use of national identity card to own assets
  • Means of transport- transport is inaccessible to most people with disabilities in the country. We have joined a caucus group with other groups of people with disabilities to advocate for accessible transport
  • Inclusive learning institutions.

2019 National Census in Kenya
Families are a key pillar in the 2019 national census in Kenya. Currently, KAIH is in the technical committee to develop administrative tools for quality and international comparability population census data.

According to Kenya National Bureau of statistics (KNBS), the population census will be in August 2019 and it will be guided by the Washington Group secretariat. In addition, KNBS is making an initiative to adopt the recommendation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to classify disability into type, age and sex.

We hereby mobilise parents and supports groups to take part in carrying out the population and housing census in August 2019.