09/03/2010

Postcards from Kenya and Tanzania : Feb 14 to Mar 7, 2010

Warm smiling faces welcome you on Jomo Kenyatta Airport, Nairobi. The airport is named after their first president, also known as the founder of Kenya. A smile can do wonders while you are in Africa !
Kenya Country Office (Nairobi) in the premises of Barclays House. The building was disabled friendly. Even inside the building requisite ramps and supports were installed.

The integrated education model of ECSA region. The entire model is delivered by the government schools. ECSA support resource rooms, braille library, assistive devices and training of school teachers. Sightsavers implement this project in partnership with Ministry of Education.I visited five government education facilities namely Menengai primary school, Nakuru boy’s high school, Kilimani primary school, Makalala primary school and Kisiwandui primary school.



The braille library at Kilimary Primary School, Nairobi supported by Sightsavers through their partner ABC (Africa Braille Centre). Incidentally, ABC and Sightsavers share same office building.
Resource room for visually impaired children at Kilimary Primary School, Nairobi supported by Sightsavers. The children coming to these government schools were from low socio economic background. Education in private schools were found to be very expensive in ECSA. The project was first piloted in few district of Kenya during 1990s, results were demonstrated to government and then scaled up through integration within the govt. education system, reaching close to 700 visually impaired children.

Resource centre for visually impaired children at Menengai Primary School, Nakuru district of Kenya. The district was primarily rural, still the resource room was utilized with presence of a range of teaching and learning materials. For advocacy purpose at policy level, a research study was undertaken by KCO on the cost allocation per visually impaired children in Kenya. The study suggested, the amount allocated by the government needs to increased from current level of USD 10 per child per year to USD 25.


Resource room for deaf blind children at Kilimani Primary School, supported by Sense International. The convergence of development agencies within the government facility to avoid duplication of resources is encouraged by Ministry of Education.


Children greeting with "namaste" at Makalala Primary School, Tanzania. Though in very rural and interior part of Mufindi district the enrolment of visually impaired children was encouraging. However, the subtle message on discrimination was conveyed due to disntictive uniform ( green sweaters for PWD). To my dismay, I was told that 'Albinism' is considered as a taboo and disability in rural parts of Tanzania. This goes to the extent of killing albino children as they were believed to bring curse to the family.


This is a picture of vision centre being run at Unguja at Zanzibaar. The medical team from Sightsavers supported Mnazi Mmoja Government Hospital organize camps while the facility was constructed by the community. Sightsavers and Ministry of Health jointly implement eyecare programmes which were primarily focussed on Trachoma and Onchocerciasis.

This picture was clicked while going through country side of Nakuru district. Making public buildings accessible was pushed by KCO as one of the advocacy agenda. A circular was sent to all the public buildings based on UNCRPD to make the facilities disabled friendly within one year, else their name would be printed in newspaper under "hall of shame" ! And guess what, it was working there !


CD has a collection of songs sung by PWD selected by Sigthsavers ECSA regional office. The music is called "Taarab" as its influenced from Arabic countries which ruled most parts of East Africa for trading slaves.


At the backside of Barclay's House, there was office of Kenya Institute for the Blind (KIB)supported by government for braille books production. While going back to hotel, seen these well dressed confident gentlemen waiting to cross the road, who speaks volume about the empowerment and employement of blind persons within BPOs/DPOs.

Presenting here Sylvester Sattu, the avid lover of Indian cuisine specially chicken makhanwala at Khana Khazana restaurant, Dar-Es-Salaaam. Bhajias and samosas were the first option for snacks available anywhere anytime.


Group of Masaai, ethnic tribe of Kenya and Tanzania. On weekend, me and Mary Muturi (Programme Officer - KCO) went to Nairobil National Park safari where the group danced with the visitors before parting away. The tourism industry in Kenya is the second largest source of foreign exchange revenue after agriculture.

Zanzibar also known as "spice isalnd" is famous for its serene beaches, international dhow festival, taarab music and UNESCO world heritage sight listed stone town.

One of most beautiful sight which I had come across while returning back to Nairobi from Dar-E-Salaam at the end of my trip. The marvelous sky view of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
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The Travel and Living channel keeps on flashing this quote by St. Augustine, could relate to it after the end of those three weeks !
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”