Religious and cultural leaders add their voices to the “Leave No One Behind’ campaign

Nairobi, Kenya, 4 November 2019 (F2A) – 19 community health volunteers, religious and cultural leaders from 9 Kenyan counties came together to participate in a social inclusion training which was convened and facilitated by Faith to Action Network and Voluntary Services Overseas.

There are an estimated 1 billion people (including 150 million children) with disabilities worldwide. This means that, on average, one in seven people and one in 20 children have disabilities. In Kenya, there is no accurately available data on the situation of people with disabilities in Kenya. Statistics are available from the recently completed 2019 national census but these do not give an accurate picture of the number of disabled people living in the country.

As part of the DFID-funded DESIP project, Faith to Action Network and its members are working to enhance equitable and sustainable access to modern contraceptives for the most vulnerable in society including the poor rural woman and persons with disability.

During the 2- day training, the VSO team led the participants in identifying harmful social norms, challenging patriarchy, identifying ways of promoting gender equality, and working across all age groups to ensure social inclusion at the community level.

At the end of the training, one religious leader remarked that, “I did not realize how biased I was to the marginalized and socially excluded in the society until I looked at my own internal values. I now understand that my own internal ideology of superiority is a barrier to social inclusion and I will work on shifting that. As a leader in my community, I will work to ensure that the marginalized and disabled are treated fairly and equally’’

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