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County Engagement Forums with Kiambu County Assembly Members

Embrace inclusion arranged  for a forum with an aim of engaging the County Assembly Member nominated to represent Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Kiambu County Assembly; Hon. Jane Nyokabi  with DPOs leader across Kiambu County. Hon. King’ara, MCA Mwihoko ward in Ruiru constituency accompanied Hon. Nyokabi by attending the forum.

Embrace inclusion invited two sub county D.P.O representatives from the twelve sub counties and also parents of children with disabilities were represented.

The meeting was to present to D.P.O leaders an opportunity to meet the person nominated to be PWDs representative in the County Assembly,  to chart the way forward and engage on modes of teaming up for the benefit of PWDs in Kiambu county.

Another goal was to create awareness on expectations of persons with disabilities in Kiambu County from the county government. This was in terms of availing opportunities equally to all and adhering to the constitution when giving recruiting; including the emphasis on the 5% of all available positions to be preserved for PWDs as stipulated in the constitution.

Educating available participants on the structures of a county government, positions available and various role played by the bearers of the positions was also a key discussion. The engagement also targeted attendants by educating them on various planning cycles of the county government’s budget activities, when they take place and how they can ensure that they fully participate and be represented.

The driving agenda was inspired by the “Sustainable Development Goals” motto leaving no one behind. Through this, a presentation explaining the importance of the engagement in ensuring that PWDs are not left behind in any county program that was being run was presented to the attendants. It emphasized on creating a county where PWDs are given opportunities without any form of discrimination.

The focus of the presentation was to bring out the connection between Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), United Nation Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and Persons with Disabilities Act 2003 (PWD Act); in relation to ensuring that PWDs live a dignified life and should be part of any development Agenda. It highlighted common agendas in all such as inclusive education, health, employment and dignity. It also emphasized on issue of gender equality among PWDs.

Embrace inclusion showcased another presentation on advocacy and how conduct effective advocacy depending on factor such as targets and methods available to PWDs.

Hon. Nyokabi then took over the and urged all PWDs to desist from initiating internal wrangles as they will undermine efforts being put in place to ensure proper mainstreaming. She urged for unity and promised to develop structures to ensure her availability to serve all members equally. She also promised to engage the county government in an effort to advocate for a position of director of disability; apposition that will serve to help advise the county departments and M.C.As on PWDs issues and opportunities that should be availed to them.

She mentioned issues such as jobs and education for PWDs as the key things she was going to address in the County Assembly. She urged all PWDs to support her and build a strong bond that will work for the benefit of all.

Hon. Nyokabi also encouraged PWDs to build strong groups within themselves and appoint progressive and selfless leaders who can engage and come up with policies to solve most of the problems faced by PWDs in the county.

Hon. King’ara pledged to fully support Hon. Jane on issues pertaining PWDs and insisted on importance of togetherness on this matter. As the Kiambu Minority leader, he pledged to ensure that they will advocate for opportunities and for PWDs to be safeguarded and ensure that their issues are addressed.

The leaders praised the efforts of Handicap International, ANDY and Embrace Inclusion, for ensuring that such engagement took place as it gave them the opportunity to learn about the county structures and various roles they can play in running of activities in the counties.

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Kiambu County DPO Leaders and Stakeholders Meeting

Embrace Inclusion organized a forum to do a recollection of significant changes impacted by the pre-election inclusive election programs. The meeting was attended by DPO leaders from the beneficiary sub counties, IEBC sub county educators, election observers and Action Network for the Disabled educator and was held at Chania Tourist Lodge hall, Thika.


The main point of discussions were centered on whether the trainings by ANDY and Embrace Inclusion did have any impact on PWDs in both understanding of the voting process, PWDs rights and whether there was confidence among members in their respective DPOs towards participation of the upcoming general elections.

The highlight changes witnessed included the following;

  1. E.B.C sending its officers to meet PWD groups and educate them on the voting procedures
  2. Due to greater awareness created through sessions, they were able to know their rights to education, where and how to demand them
  3. They had helped a lot of their members who previously didn’t believe in electoral process register as voters and be ready to participate.
  4. Through the sessions, candidates vying for different seats met them which gave the DPOs a much clear audience with them hence able to choose their candidates as groups depending on the visions towards PWDs.
  5. Through the awareness created some of their members presented their credentials to be considered by I.E.B.C for different job positions that were available within the commission to conduct the elections.

Though stakeholders do agree that there have been positive and identifiable transformation in both ends of PWDs and the commission through education and recognition respectively, there are still challenges that needed to be addressed like proper allocation of job opportunities and  I.E.B.C educators unavailability in some areas  which led to information reaching late.

They all hailed the impact created by both sides in educating their members and the awareness created through the forums held in their areas.

It was agreed that trainings should be held much earlier before the elections to be able to reach out more people in much remote and interior areas.

They were all thankful to both embrace inclusion and Andy for facilitating the trainings and hailed the impact created.


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Gatundu South Sub County Inclusive Election Forum

The county inclusive election awareness to persons with disability by Embrace Inclusion continued and this time Embrace Inclusion took its training to Gatundu south sub county; where we engaged the participants in a forum held at the Educational Hall at the Deputy County Commissioner Compound.

This being one of the vast constituencies in Kiambu County, the activities were carried out twice; in the morning and afternoon

The main issues to be addressed were the rights and privileges of persons with disabilities in relation to voting and participating in election process.

The importance of having persons with disabilities participate not just as voters but also as election staffs, observers as well as party agents was emphasized to ensure persons with disabilities were not left behind.

The administration and IEBC educators assured Persons with disabilities to count on their assistance and engage them whenever the need to be directed or assisted to participate in any way.


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Kabete Sub County Inclusive Election Engagement Forum

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Kabete is one of the twelve Sub Counties in Kiambu County where Embrace inclusion took its inclusive election program in partnership with Handicap International (HI) and Action Network for the Disabled (ANDY).

The forum was held on 20th June 2017 at Bishop Kariuki Integrated Training Centre, Wangige. It was attended by DPO leaders from the Sub County, invited PWDs from across the Sub County, sitting Member of Parliament Hon. Ferdinand Waititu team, aspiring candidates for various political seats together with HI and ANDY representative who were doubling up as co facilitators together with Embrace inclusion team.

The key agenda was to identify reasons why majority of PWDs from this area do not participating in election process.

The key emerging key reasons were as follows:

  1. Lack of information on different roles of elected leaders
  2. Lack of proper support frame by IEBC
  3. Lack of clear understanding of the need of some forms of disabilities by election officials
  4. Lack of proper mechanism to guarantee security to PWDs during the election.

Embrace inclusion took this opportunity to invite the major stakeholders and aspirant to collectively come up with measures that would ensure the above issues are addressed.

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Ruiru Inclusive Election Forum

DSC_0949As part of the ongoing inclusive election program in Kiambu County, Embrace Inclusion in partnership with Action Network for the Disabled (ANDY) and Ruiru District Disability Network (RUDNET) conducted a public forum in Ruiru Sub County which was held at the Ruiru CDF Social hall on 6th June, 2017.

The forum was attended by Persons with Disabilities from different the eight wards evenly distributed within the constituency, DPO leaders who assisted in preparation and arrangement of the venue and logistics. Present were the IEBC voters educators from the constituency, the District officer from the local administration and ANDY educators.

The forum main agenda was to educate persons with disabilities on their rights as voters, importance of participating in the election and the processes that will be taking place in the Election Day.

The Civil and voter education forum was targeting persons with disabilities; whom the majority don’t participate in election due to various difficulties that are normally associated with the polling exercise.

The IEBC educators were tasked with explaining measures that have been taken to ensure all PWDs full participate in elections without obstacles experienced in the previous elections.  PWDs presented their arguments on issues such as discrimination while awarding job opportunities, lack of support to caretakers and measures taken to identify persons with disabilities at the polling stations.

The local administration promised their commitment to ensure every person is protected within the law and to offer adequate support to vote where necessary.

Embrace inclusion will follow up on post election forums that will look forward to facilitate meetings with the elected leaders once elections are completed.

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Kiandutu Voters Civic Education Forum

Representative from ANDY facilitating

Embrace Inclusion conducted a civic education forum to educate persons with disabilities on their rights to participate in voting exercise 0n 25th August, 2017 at the Muungano wa wanakijiji Hall Kiandutu where it engaged various stakeholders such as local administration, IEBC, URAIA and DPOs.

IEBC representative engaged PWDs enlightening them of their rights and the processes towards elections; including employment opportunities and preference treatment during voting for PWDs e.g. on queuing, voter assistance, and targeted voter education.

PWDs had an opportunity to engage the stakeholders with different questions towards IEBC where they were addressed to satisfaction.

URAIA educator facilitated on constitution article 54, and other general rights also bringing the convention on rights of persons with disabilities. They also taught on devolution, what it is for, and who has to benefit; this was well done and PWDs expressed understanding through engagements.

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Administration representative; the chief showed commitment towards ensuring persons with disabilities access services his area of jurisdiction. In addition, he said he would lobby for implementation of privileges to the county government e.g. parking fee completely waived, access to restrooms completely waived.


It was an enlightening experience for the participants and persons with disabilities were happy to be engaged in such a forum and requested more forums of such to continue where the aim is to bringing policies implementers closer to the affected communities.

From this forum, three key findings were recorded and Embrace Inclusion is progressively acting through its programs designed to impact the shortcomings recorded with the following measures.

Findings Actions
There is low understanding of disability rights among many participants More need for strengthened empowering and awareness activities to be carried out among Persons with Disabilities
Devolution is not clear to persons with disabilities There is need for more enlightening opportunities for PWDS on issues concerning devolution. Embrace has been distributing devolution books and learning materials to solve the problem.
Actors and policy implementers are yet to fully learn and understand more about disability and how to address their needs Need to carryout awareness programs to the actors and empower them on inclusion of persons with disabilities in their functions.
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