Mr. Leonard Nzioka of the Human Resource Department at the Railway Training Institute (RTI) has been honored with a new powered wheel chair. The special wheel chair will enable him to maneuver hard to reach places with much ease as compared to the regular wheel chair he had.
The wheel chair was donated by the Gender and Disability Mainstreaming Committee as part of their Gender Mainstreaming activities for the 2015/16 financial year. The handover ceremony was presided over by Human Resource and Administration Manager Mrs. Josephine Masibo who was flanked by members of the Committee and the Railway Training Institute staff.
Speaking at the function, Mrs. Masibo said that the Corporation has continually sought to put in place measures that enhance accessibility and mobility to facilities by People with Disabilities (PWDs). She emphasized that such persons are entitled to a barrier-free and disability-friendly environment. She also said that the Corporation is renovating structural, physical, administrative and other barriers that may hinder ease of access for all staff.
“It is my pleasure to preside over this noble event on behalf of the Board, the Managing Director and staff of Kenya Railways. As an old adage goes, charity begins at home. We as an organization believe in upholding the rights of Persons living with disabilities hence our gesture today. We endeavor to effect these rights as captured in the Persons living with disabilities Act 2003,” she said.
On his part, an elated Mr. Nzioka said that he was very humbled with the gesture which he termed as very kind. His joy and appreciation was obvious for all to see. He disclosed that the new chair is actually better than the regular one he had been using.
“I am deeply humbled by your kind gesture. With this chair, I can move around more and easily. Thank you all very much,” he said.
In her further remarks at the ceremony, Mrs. Masibo said that the persons with disabilities Act 2013 is undergoing review. The new persons with Disabilities Bill 2015, seeks to realign the 2013 Act with the 2010 constitution and the UN convention, on the rights of persons with disabilities. She informed those present that the proposed 2015 Bill demands participation in public, civil and political life of persons living with disabilities. The bill has received parliamentary approval thus giving meaning to Articles 90 and 97 of the constitution of Kenya 2010.
In another related development, four members of the Gender and Disability Mainstreaming Committee recently attended training at Sawela Lodge in Naivasha. The training which was facilitated by personnel form Libra Consultants sought to build capacity for members in regards to Gender Mainstreaming essentials for committees and Operationalizing Disability Mainstreaming committees for service provision.
In her communication to the KR Weekly team, Human Resource Officer Ms. Florence Kanja highlighted the fact that the committee members gained knowledge on facilitating the (re)organization, improvement, development and evaluation of processes; such that a gender equality perspective is attained in policies and programmes. The training helped participants explore a variety of gender equality strategies which include tinkering, tailoring and transforming. The training also empowered the committee members to spearhead mainstreaming processes at the workplace.
Other topics at the training focused on strategies to promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities at all levels. The team understood the facts, legal provisions, rights, rehabilitation, soft skills, sensitivity and key steps in disability mainstreaming.