|Chickens laying success at Gathanga|
Hannah Wanjiku Gichinga is a 22 year old woman with cerebral palsy. Her severe physical and intellectual disability means she is rarely able to leave her home in the rural village of Gathanga, but she has a bright smile for visitors.
Hannah and her family are members of KAIH’s ‘Gathanga Intellectual Handicap Support Group’ for people with intellectual disabilties and their carers. Formed in January 2010, the group has 13 members and has come together to improve the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and their families. Many of its members experience serious poverty and one of the group’s first steps was to try to improve their financial situation, as group Chairman, Catechist Josphat K. Wiagura, explains:
“Last year we were lucky enough to be visited by Dr Teresiah Gathenya from the UK, who was impressed by our work and kindly decided to give us a Christmas gift of 12,000 KES (approx. £100).
“We discussed for some time how to spend the money, and decided that we wanted to buy something that would help us to improve our circumstances in the long term. So we purchased 26 chickens and entrusted each member with two. Not only do the eggs help to provide an extra source of income, but many of our young people with intellectual disabilities are involved in caring for the chickens, which helps them to feel valued and contribute to their families.
“We would like thank our donor for their support, and also KAIH, as they have encouraged us to come together and work as a group.”
Back at Hannah’s home, her mother Margaret explains what the chickens mean to her family:
“The project is very new as we have only been running for five months, but already our chickens have grown: they were bought for 250 KES and we can sell each egg for 30 KES, and will be able to sell the full grown hens for not less than 1000 KES, so it’s a good investment. We know we will see the benefits soon.”
Picture 1, from left: Hannah's brother, Hannah, and her mother margaret
Picture 2: Hannah's brother attending to the chickens