ROSELYN AOKO WANGA
Roselyn Aoko Wanga had just finished lighting the kitchen fire, ready to prepare her morning meal when we visited her at her parents’ home in Nyaharwa sub-location, Uria village, Ugenya Sub-county of Siaya County where she lives with her mother, Monica Juma Wanga, and her brother’s family.
Roselyn, now 40 years old is a post-polio survivor who has lived with the condition for the last 36 years. Upon falling ill, her parents sought for her treatment by all means including engaging local massage experts who use herbs as treatment. She later got a knee abduction foot orthosis (KAFO) that broke and could not be replaced when her father passed away. This led to the end of her education in standard five since she could not go to school.
Roselyn met with the Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Project of Matibabu Foundation – Kenya (MFK) in July 2014 during a medical camp in Nyang’u health center, where she received a new KAFO and a pair of auxiliary crutches after being measured during a CBR medical camp in Nyang’u clinic in September 2014. In addition, the CBR-MFK team trained her on proper use of the KAFO and has maintained monthly home visits to assess her progress.
The 40 year old single woman’s face lighted up as she described how her life has changed since her encounter with the CBR-MFK team at the medical camp. She says, with the aid of a border border (motorcycle transport) she can now travel far: Roselyn is now able to attend church services at Uria Primary School which is about 3KMS from her home, something she could not do before; go to the market and socialize with people, see and learn new things. She is also an active member of the disabled people’s self-help group that meets on a bi-monthly basis at Bar Oninge market, almost 7 KMs away from her home following a referral made by an MFK staff to the group. Through the self-help group, Roselyn, who currently has one hen and 8 chicks, intends to scale up her poultry keeping business.
Roselyn is an independent person who longs for economic empowerment. She has so far sold 3 pieces of school sweaters that she knitted by hand. She believes with more capital and a knitting machine she can make more sweaters and sell them for income.
The MFK-CBR project was started in 2011 through collaborative efforts of CBR Team International – Belgium and MFK. Although at the moment we can only support a total of 260 clients with medication, mobility equipment and physiotherapy across Siaya County, there are many other people with disability that would benefit from the services available through the CBR-MFK project.