, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 30 – First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has urged corporate organisations and other well-wishers to join hands and support children with special needs.
She said the number of children with special needs in the country was increasing and that there was need to cater for this group of individuals in our society.
The First Lady spoke at State House Nairobi, when she held talks with Eva Naputuni Nyoike of Acorn Special Tutorials, ZTE Corporation Chief Executive Officer Qiao Liang and the Airtel Networks Board.
The Airtel Networks Kenya Board led by their Chairman Titus Naikuni, their CEO Africa Christian De Faria and their CEO Kenya Adil El Youssefi presented a fully kitted mobile clinic worth Sh10 million to the First Lady.
On Friday November 6, 2015, the First Lady will deliver the 33rd fully equipped mobile clinic to Mandera County.
She said there was need to create awareness about the plight of children with special needs especially to teachers and parents.
The First Lady said lack of knowledge and required tools had increased difficulties to teachers and parents who handle children suffering from Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome and other disabilities.
“I will do my best to bring on board various stakeholders to address this issue,” said the First Lady.
During the meeting, Nyoike of Acorn Special Tutorials presented the First Lady with a book she has authored on how teachers and parents could identify and guide children with special needs.
The First Lady commended her for spearheading efforts in developing materials and tools to help children with special needs, saying it was important for more Kenyans to come up with more innovative ways of creating a better environment for those children to grow.
Acorn Special Tutorials has been supporting children with special needs for the last 26 years and currently offers tailor made courses to schools with an emphasis on inclusive learning and vocational training to adults with special needs.
The ZTE Corporation Chief Executive Liang said his company, which is one of the leading global provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions, would support the First Lady in her initiative to improve lives of women and children.
Liang said the company will be one of the sponsors of the 3rd edition of the First Lady’s Half Marathon in 2016.
He also pointed out that ZTE Corporation would partner with the First Lady in providing education tools to children with special needs through its Smart Education Solution tools.
On his part, Airtel Kenya CEO Adil El Youssefi said his company would continue partnering with the First Lady in her Beyond Zero initiative to ensure that Kenyan women and children got the best in healthcare and education.
He said his company would continue to actively participate in the First Lady’s Half Marathon races and that already the company’s female workers had formed what they call “Airtel Divas” which is a women’s forum to support the First Lady’s initiative.
He said the company supports the government’s digital vision by enhancing education through the internet and that so far it is providing free internet to 120,000 students in over 150 schools countrywide.
The Company plans to reach one million students across the country in the next 18 months.
Later the First Lady met with the Committee organising the hosting of the 10th Edition of the IAAF World Youth Athletics Championship 2017.
The First Lady who is the patron of the games was briefed on the preparations and the budgetary plans of the event.
During the function the committee presented the First Lady with the International Association Athletics (IAAF) Flag.
The Committee said the hosting of the games in the country would boost and strengthen Kenya’s economy owing to influx of visitors from over 150 countries.
The committee members who were led by the Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario included Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei, David Okeyo, Isaac Mwangi, Christopher Khaemba, Wensals Ong’ayo and Sports Commissioner Gordon Oluoch.