Written by admin
Thursday, 26 July 2012 17:10
In August 1996, Methodist Church in Kenya established a Disability Programme. The founder of the Programme was Mr Paul Roger Lindoewood, a Mission Partner from Britain. The programme is Connexional and is based at the MCK Conference Office in Nairobi.
During the seven years of its existence the Disability Program has been involved in three main areas of work:
1. Developing and increasing awareness of disability and the needs of disabled people, throughout the MCK Connexion.
2. Working with what is loosely referred to as the disabled community (organization or group that is working with disabled people or their families).
3. Developing a Disabled Children's Centre which is at present known as the Disability Community Centre a Community Based Rehabilitation project, based in Maua and operating within the Meru North District.
Various cultures view disability in three ways: one, by its cause; two, by its effects on valued attributes, and three, by the status of the disabled person as an adult. Social Model defines disability as a form of oppression by the society, encouraging and reinforcing an attitude of dependency of disabled people. The emphasis of the social model is on changing the attitudes and systems that impose barriers to full participation in society.
With regard to cause, people are treated well or poorly depending on cultural beliefs about how and why they became disabled. For instance, some cultures explain disability by witchcraft, reincarnation, divine displeasure and genetics. In others, disability has a positive association e.g., in northern Mexico and Botswana it is reported that the birth of a child with disability is evidence of God's trust in a parent's ability to care for that child.
With regard to attributes, if a society values physical strength, then people with physical disabilities are at a disadvantage. If society values intellectual accomplishments, then the fact that a person uses a wheelchair is not as limiting.
As for the adult status, the willingness of a society to give resources to people with disabilities often depends on whether or not that individual will have an adult role in the community. Will that individual have a job? A family of his/her own?
Thus, people with disabilities are far more limited by society's view of disability than by their actual disability.
According to the Bible, every human being is created in God's likeness regardless of their physical or mental capacities. The love that God has for every being also applies to people with different kinds of disabilities. God's wish to save every human being and the whole creation from evil is a wish he also has for those who live with disabilities (John 3:16). This means that God's command that we love our neighbour as ourselves (Lev 19:18) also includes those who have disabilities.
Methodist Church encourages an attitude of love for all people. All must be included and integrated in the church. We also preach peace because we understand that conflict and terrorist activities are some of the major causes of disability.
Currently, the church sponsors the following institutions:
1. Meru School for the Mentally Handicapped
2. Portreitz School for the Physically Handicapped
3. Njia Special School for both the deaf and the mentally handicapped
4. Kaaga School for the deaf, and
5. Maua Disability Community Centre
We are also encouraging primary schools to have special units for the deaf and the mentally handicapped. This trend is picking up well in Meru North and parts of the Kenya Coast.
We have congregations for the deaf and are looking forward to having more in future.
Last Updated on Thursday, 26 July 2012 17:11