Investing in education for persons living with disabilities
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
When Edwin Mulongo was born, he had perfect sight. He became blind at the age of four, despite several attempts to correct his eyesight. Edward has not let this challenge slow him down. Thanks to a scholarship from USAID, through the Wings to Fly program, Edward is studying at the Thika Secondary School for the Blind.
With a bit of empowerment and acceptance the disabled can contribute to Kenya’s economy and their communities as much as any other citizen. USAID’s goal is to demonstrate the benefits of investing in young people with disabilities.
“If we marganilize our children with disabilities, they will become a burden on their families and their communities,” says Dr. Lucy Kithome, who manages the USAID investment in the Wings to Fly program. “If we educate them, they will be productive members of society.”
Edwin proves the points: “I hope to be a lawyer and fight for the rights of the marginalized in the society. The disabled persons can also play a big role in the society and that is what I hope to do for my country.”
The Orphans and Vulnerable Children-Wings to Fly Scholarship is helping Kenyans drive their own development agenda by working towards a nation with educated, self-reliant and productive youths. USAID partners with the Equity Bank Foundation and Mastercard, among other sponsors. USAID is supporting 2,180 including girls and boys from all 47 Counties of Kenya. These young people are attending 398 different schools across the country.
by Rose Mutisya