Updates from our “Kids of Maseno – Team” in Kenya by Christine Adhiambo

Kids of Maseno – Förderverein Kenia e.V.    
Kenya – Germany
January 2012


Quite a number of Deaf and Deafblind children lack the ability to get main stream education in our country Kenya because most parents are shy to bring them out of their homes, it is through this stigma that Kids of Maseno-Kenya has taken the initiative to identify for education sponsorships the age is from 6-20 years, Currently we have identified more children and 16 are already going to school at some local schools and fees paid by our sister organization Kids of Maseno-Germany who solicit for funds and transfers it to our local account and we make payments to the various schools in Nyanza and Western Province of Kenya. The sponsorships for education started in 2010 where by some 9 children benefited and another six were added in 2011 to the list and for 2012 three more. There are still some children on the waiting list and hoping for the best so that they can also join the list of those already enjoying the benefits.
In 2010 also saw our first 2 children sit for KCPE exams and passed very highly and Sellah Emali managed to get a chance at St. Angela’s Mumias Vocational secondary school, we took the initiative and took her there ourselves to be part of her new life and be the proud foster parents and Joseph Awuonda was also enrolled in Form one at Fr. Ouderaa Nyango’ma secondary for the Hearing Impaired, he was very happy because he almost missed school and joined in March after everyone else had reported. We thank Kids of Maseno-Germany for all you have done to these kids by ensuring they didn’t miss out on school this year.


This after much consideration and consultations with our friends, both deaf and hearing, a meeting was held in January 2011 and a resolution passed that there was a serious need to bridge the communication gap between the Deaf and the hearing public. This we did by first identifying a place which could house us and which could be very central to everyone. Kisumu town was chosen to be the ideal place because the population is high and it is reachable by everyone. Since we have a Deaf church at the site and the ACK St. Stephen Church Congregation knows about it, it was going to be easier to market the training, we talked and agreed with the management of this church and an MOU was reached, the trainings are already on going with Austin and Bernard alternating the teachings which takes place every Monday—Friday from 4.30 P.M. to 6.30 P.M. and weekend classes on Saturdays from 10 A.M. There are three stages which one needs to go through during the training, 1st Basic– this is the introduction part to Basic Kenya Sign Language, 2nd Intermediate—this is now a more advance stage, 3rd Interpretation—this involves now the field of interpretation where one is taught how to interpret, all these each takes a period of 3 months.
The charges are still very low at € 19 per month at the end of each stage we issue a certificate. So take advantage of the early bird catches the worm offer of our very low prices, the proceeds from this will be channeled to the children centre for sustainability. There are now 8 adults who enrolled and already issued with certificate for the basic stage.
Again we thank our friends KIDS OF MASENO for standing with us on this and giving the necessary advice

Deaf Awareness Week: This is a worldwide yearly event in September. During the past 2 years since our registration, we have participated in its activities in area of our operation, the 2009 we walked through the streets of Maseno and inside every office this was done by our members and later a football tournament was organized between the children and members, a special meal was organized for those who took part.

Deaf and Deafblindess: In 25th June 2011, Kids of Maseno-Kenya organized a 10 km Deaf and Deafblind awareness fundraising walk in aid of building a dormitory for the Deaf and Deafblind children’s home. The walk was a success, with the local primary schools coming to join us and other organizations helping by donating water and refreshments, we also got a donation of t-shirts from one of the communication providers in Kenya. The theme was “Blindness separates us from things and deafness separates us from People”. Though the fundraising was poor but that has not killed our morale as we plan to hold more and more of such campaigns in the future.

The home was started after much consideration, consultations and observation.
Kenya is one of the country in the Eastern Africa, where many people with disability are not given full opportunity to enjoy  health, education, housing, even employment like other children the Deaf and Deafblind orphans are one in that group whose live are in the darkness, there are so many  orphanages across the country Kenya which give the orphans hope, food, clothes and proper  medical care and house. None of these orphanages keep place in their centre to accept children who are deaf and deaf blind. This is because of misunderstanding e.g. some orphanage centers think that inclusion of the deaf and deaf blind children will give them more burden and even some centers think that including them will result in other children who are not deaf and deaf blind to be deaf or deaf blind to (infecting them with deaf/deaf blindness). It is easy to find  the deaf and deaf blind orphan children in the streets, so many of  them find life in hard conditions as there is nobody to care and show them that they are being loved. Most of those deaf and deaf blind children are Aids orphans, no family, and those who have relatives face more prejudice, as they think that deaf and deaf blind children have no place to belong. Sad to say that most of those children who get little support from relatives get half way education and have nowhere to go and get food, clothing, housing as well as enjoy love especially when the schools are closed for holidays. For this reason Kids of Maseno-Kenya is now the only orphanage Home in Kenya that will be catering for the deaf and deaf blind orphans.
Through the help of our sister organization Kids of Maseno-Germany we are working tirelessly on the home. Already the first dormitory building has started in November 2011 and is still far from over. We thought the donation we got from our friends Kids of Maseno-Germany was enough to finish the whole building. Sadly, one of our main donors let us down during the construction period.
So far we have reached the roofing and now remaining with interior designing, plastering, paintings, windows and doors, toilets, plumbering works and electricity fittings.
The challenges were many during this period e.g. we started building when the rains were just about to start and it caught us in between, this made it impossible to transport the building materials to the site and now the costs also shot up.
There was high inflation which visited our nation Kenya and everything suddenly shot up to the roofs, the original contractor fees also went up because life was hard for everyone, so as we write this small journal, the building has stuck but hoping a good hearted person like you will read this and see the need to come to our aid as we anticipate bringing these children to start living at the center by April 2012, your little donation will be highly appreciated as it will help finish the first dormitory. So feel welcome and we are ready to answer any of your questions regarding the children home.

Management and Members of Kids of Maseno – Kenya

Kids of Maseno-Kenya is run and managed by the local people who have volunteered their time and energies to see this noble project a success.
The Board of directors are:

  • Director/Chairman—Austin Otieno

Who is responsible for chairing the meetings and is the link between the Kids of Maseno-Germany, he is Deaf and trained teacher specialized in special needs of the Deaf and Deafblind children. He also identifies the children who are most in need and forwards their names to the members for the assessment and final admission.

  • Public Relations/Secretary-Christine Adhiambo

She is hearing and is the one responsible for writing minutes, interpretation, designing project communication materials.
She manages the local communications with the relevant authority. Furthermore she has a vast experience in the field of children given her work record with research organizations doing research on “Daily Life Activities of School going Children”, “Children as Change Agents” and participates a lot in football as a tool for behavior change among the youths.

  • Treasurer-Monica Malala

She is Deaf and is a matron for the Deaf blind children. She keeps all the financial records of the project.

There are 14 other members who some are assisting officials of Kids of Maseno-Kenya Deaf and Deaf blind children Home, without these members we could not have obtained the registration certificate because in Kenyan Law for registration, at least the group MUST be started with not less than 5 individuals, so with this requirement, there are 14 other people who are involved with different things in the organization and their names are at the Ministry of Gender, social and children affairs offices, their other duties are sitting at the meetings and passing of the resolutions of which a vote of 2/3 majority is required.


We have been blessed in the last year where we got recognition by the District Children’s Officer Mr. ELVIS KURGAT who has been interested in seeing that this our project succeeds in whatever way. He was very instrumental in making sure that we got the required papers before we start doing anything, he registered our organization in time. Again in the course of the year 2010, we were so delighted to receive an invitation from him personally to attend a ceremony where by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social, Gender Development and Children Affairs Dr. JAMES NYIKAL was coming on site to inspect a Children’s Probation Center which was being built, we were so happy to have been introduced to the PS by Mr. Kurgat and talking much more about our special project.
We also got recognition from Plan International-Kisumu during our awareness creation week, Spectre International, Amaddiya Muslim Mission, Kenya Police, Ministry of Education-Kisumu West District all who participate during the awareness creation of Deaf and Deafblindness.
We are also happy that we have formed a friendship relationship with our friends in Germany who have been visiting Maseno Deaf School every time and doing internship, through this Kids of Maseno Germany was formed and it is them who are paying for the children school fees and some small needs, they also helped us buying a land which centre is being built and now the building of the first dormitory. With all that you have done to us, and it is through Nele Gabriel that this noble idea was born and all heads came together. We say Ahsanteni Sana and may GOD continue to bless you more.

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