Humanity and Inclusion (HI) Kenya is collaborating with the County Government to implement ‘In-Business Project in Kakuma, Turkana West.
The Project seeks to improve the socio-economic well-being of Micro-Entrepreneurs (MEs) with People With Disabilities (PWD) in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kalobeyei Settlement, and the Host Community.
A two-day meeting in Lodwar discussed the rights and how PWDs can effectively participate in doing business just like other people in Kakuma.
The meeting, supported by HI, strategized on how PWDs in Turkana West can engage in Small and micro enterprises (SMEs).
The ‘In Business Project’ already supports 75 micro-enterprises by PWDs within Kakuma Camp and Kalobeyei Settlement in the spirit of KISDEP.
The Chief Officer for Education and Social Protection Moses Korea, said the intervention by the ‘InBusiness Project” has contributed towards breaking of socio-economic challenges faced by refugees with disabilities.
He called on the program to expand its coverage beyond Turkana West, since there are more PWDs across the County, who are in need of support services.
The Social Protection Chief warned the program implementors targeting PWDs that they would only succeed if correct data is used to determine their numbers, distribution, and specific needs.
At the same time, the County Solicitor, Ruth Emanikor, pointed out that Sustainable Development Goal No.17 emphasizes leaving no one behind.
“Disability inclusion is one of the ways of ensuring we break the barriers and include affirmative action program policies designed to redress any disadvantages suffered by individuals or groups as a result of past discrimination,” Emanikor affirmed.
She continued to say, “The County Government is supporting the initiative by the InBusiness Steering Committee on improving PWD’s living conditions while respecting their fundamental rights and dignity.
The Deputy Director for Social Protection, Hebrews Idoka commented that there is a strong legal framework in support of inclusive practices for the refugee and host community involved in business and livelihood programs.
Idoka noted that KISEDP (I) brought forward large financing support for private sector investment to unlock the economic potential of refugees and the host community.
He cited that stigma and discrimination, access to capital, infrastructure that prohibits access to both private and public premises, legal requirements for business operation, and the running of micro-enterprises by proxy for people with complex disabilities and high support needs, as some of the existing barriers to economic inclusion for Micro-Entrepreneurs with Disability.
The Chairman for the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce (KNCC) Turkana Chapter, Justus Amoni spoke on the need for proper documentation and encouraged all stakeholders to put more effort into ensuring the inclusion concept works well.
The meeting was attended by Edith Ingutia (UNHCR), Ivy Sichelo (Refugee Consortium of Kenya), Benson Ebei (NCPWD), David Ereng (DRS) and Kelvin Andali (HI).