Facilitating individuals living with disability in rural Kenya
When Irene first came to the DSP, she was 14 years old and Malvoline was nearly 2. Malvoline is a little girl with abnormal muscle tone and delayed milestones due to what is presumed to be Cerebral Malaria. Up until the age of 6 months she was developing typically. Irene recalls Malvoline falling ill, however she could not afford to travel to the hospital, despite free healthcare for any child under the age of 5. Upon initial assessment, Malvoline was unable to roll, sit or crawl. She still struggles to meet her milestones, however is in much better care now thanks to the DSP and a generous Canadian donor.
When she was in grade 7 both of Irene’s parents passed on within 6 months of each other. Together with her brother and sister, she managed to survive for a few months on the maize from her family’s stores. One morning she awoke to find her brother had run away. Not long after, her sister abandoned her to take a job in a distant town. Without any resources, her neighbours advised her start travelling to other areas looking for someone who would take her in. She had no choice but to drop out of school. She was 11. Eventually a family took her in to work as a housemaid, however, not long after she became pregnant due to rape. While pregnant Irene was taken in by a woman who worked at a hospital. The woman hired her as a housemaid for a modest salary.
While attending the DSP for Malvoline’s treatment, Irene expressed the desire to return to school so she could become a doctor. The DSP struggled to find a boarding school appropriate for both Irene’s and Malvoline’s needs, and was eventually successful. Irene also met a Canadian visitor through the DSP who now kindly sponsors her school fees.