SENSE International, a global charity supporting people with deafblindness, has been awarded over £130,000 in funding through a UK Aid Direct grant to support people with deafblindness / multi-sensory impairments (MSI), their families, and schools in Kenya, in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The £134,112 grant will provide food and medicine to 200 people with deafblindness/ MSI and their families, as well as providing hygiene facilities in over 20 schools, impacting thousands of pupils and teachers. It will also provide mental health support and accessible information about the virus and how to keep safe to hundreds of families. The funding will help those living in the counties of Bomet, Kericho, Kisumu, Kwale, Mombasa and Nairobi, which have high rates of poverty and disability.
The effects of COVID-19 in Kenya have been wide-ranging and include much-restricted access to health services and medication due to lockdown measures; a lack of safety information in accessible formats; and a loss of personal and communication support for people with deafblindness/ MSI, including guides, interpreters and therapists, due to lockdown and social distancing guidelines.
The situation in Kenya has been exacerbated by a locust invasion affecting agriculture, a primary source of income and food supply, and ongoing flash floods.
Alison Marshall, Director of Sense International, said:
“We are delighted to receive this UK Aid Direct grant to respond directly to the impact of COVID-19 in Kenya. Our focus is on ensuring the safety of the people we support, their families and communities, as well as our staff and partners. This grant will ensure that people with deafblindness and their families receive the food and medicine, hygiene facilities, mental health support and accessible information that is crucial to enable them to stay healthy and safe during the COVID-19 crisis.”
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Minister Baroness Liz Sugg said:
“The UK is supporting vulnerable countries to build resilience and tackle the impact of COVID-19.
“This UK Aid Direct grant will make an important difference to the lives of people with deafblindness and their families in Kenya, ensuring that communities have the support they need to stay safe and healthy.”
UK Aid Direct supports civil society organisations (CSOs) working in UK Government priority countries and the 50 lowest countries in the Human Development Index, (HDI), where support for achieving the Global Goals is most needed. This funding is part of its Rapid Response Fund which supports civil society organisations to be a force for good in the world. This supports charities on preparedness, mitigation, and response to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and is one of 33 approved to be delivered in 16 countries.
For more information about Sense International Kenya, please visit: www.senseinternational.org.uk/our-work/kenya