, NAIROBI, Kenya, October 2 – The Kenya Paraplegic Organisation (KPO) on Saturday morning held a walk seeking to raise Sh100 million to build a rehabilitation and trauma centre in the country.
The Executive director of KPO Timothy Wetangula said the centre that will cost Sh250 million to construct seeks to reduce the rate of trauma of spinal cord injuries in Kenya.
Wetangula said the initiative dubbed \’The one million people campaign,\’ aims at raising only Sh100 from every person contacted.
"Today we are telling Kenyans that a million people is just you and me. When we say we are looking for a million people, it starts from us so once I bring in a friend and you bring in a friend we build a chain and a network," he said. "I am sure that very soon we are going to achieve this."
He encouraged more organisations to support the initiative in a bid to fulfil their corporate social responsibility.
"It also provides a lot of support to the human resource because these corporates also depend on human resource for their development. For them just giving back to the community and supporting these organisations, they will be supporting the community that has also supported them in business," he explained.
Speaking during the same event, the Prime Minister\’s wife Ida Odinga who is also the chairperson of the KPO advisory board emphasised the need for the speedy construction of the Rehabilitation and Trauma Centre.
She said other than improve the livelihoods of people living with disabilities, this will also paint Kenya as a caring nation and called on everyone to join the cause and support the initiative.
"There are things that can be avoided. We do not have to let our people die simply because there is no medical care. Today after the walk I have got a certificate and a medal which reads: there is life after spinal cord injury,\’" she said. "This is important because it gives hope to those people who have suffered spinal cord injury. They need not to go down in misery since now there will be a centre to help them get to their feet."
Mrs Odinga pointed out that the rehabilitation centre would not only benefit the people living with spinal cord injuries, but also other Kenyans.
"We need to do something small because you do not know when you will also be injured. All you need to do is to contribute only Sh100. If we get one million people contributing, by the end of three months you will make Sh100 million and that is enough to start constructing the rehabilitation centre," she explained.
Her sentiments were echoed by Bright Ambeyi who is a director at the Kenya Paraplegic organisation.
Mrs Ambeyi said that unforeseen occurrences may befall anyone and without the facility to treat them they might lose their life and stressed the importance of everyone taking \’The One million people campaign seriously.\’
"You can be living your normal life and all of a sudden something happens and you find yourself as a person with disability. We should therefore support this initiative knowing that it is for all of us," she said.
She noted that it will go a long way in assisting disabled people integrate well into the society.
"I would like to generally say that it should not be looked at as a token for those people with disability because persons with disabilities are people are Kenyans that deserve to have equal rights like everyone else."