The Story of Janet
Janet Wakio Mwaliwa a mother of four children, three of whom are children with severe disabilities, was jobless but the three Disabled children were luckily enrolled for the monthly cash transfer of €15.50 per child by the Kenya government; which unfortunately had never been remitted. After lengthy job hunting, Janet was employed as a house-maid.
Unfortunately, she couldn’t work a whole day due to emerging challenges that her children with severe disabilities were faced with and needed regular attention. She was dismissed from the job since she used to request for break interludes to attend to the children.
Further she was frustrated when one organisation that used to mobilise support from corporates to buy diapers for needy care-givers closed its office and relocated to an unknown location and the children often required medical attention. Unable to cope with the situation, Janet mobilised resources from family friends to start her own small business which did not survive due to her inability to pay for the business premises’ rent and local government permit thus forcing her to close down.
Janet attended one of our community sensitisations events and went through guiding and counselling. We requested the local authorities to issue her with single permit waivers on humanitarian grounds since according to the Kenya law, parents and care-givers of children with disabilities were not qualified to access the waiver.
Fortunately, we secured business stalls/points which were located near her rental house in order for her to run the business and attend to her children with special needs whenever required. As it stands, Janet is currently coping with her small business as she looks forward to more support to grow the business since it is being drained by the daily needs of her severely disabled children among other family expenses.