Kenya Society for the Mentally Handicapped

The Kenya Society for the Mentally Handicapped is an organization that rescues mentally disabled people from their poor environments where they are unable to be treated properly for their conditions. They are in poor environments based on the lack of funds to pay for hospital visits, being too much for their families to deal with, the stress they get from neighbors, and the lack of places to confine these people from hurting themselves and others, or simply running away.
Due to this organization, thousands of children and adults have been taken out of confinement, neglect, and abusive encounters and brought back to their families in better mental conditions. Although The Kenya Society for the Mentally Handicapped has helped many, they have reached less than 1% of the population living with mental disabilities. Restrictions to helping more individuals are some of the following, listed on the KSMH website:
• Lack of early identification and assessment services for children with intellectual disabilities.
• Inaccessible basic & specialized services especially those needed by mothers and families of persons with intellectual disabilities.
• The presence of insensitive & discriminative legal and institutional policy frameworks
• High poverty levels that has increased the incidence of intellectual disabilities in the country and affected its management.
• Deeply entrenched social, cultural and religious stigma associated with intellectual disability.

The CEO, Edah Maina, has been working toward the goal of ‘actively promoting identification, acceptance, inclusion and equal opportunities and all rights for persons with intellectual disabilities and their families in Kenya’. Although it has been hard to implement these rights into government form, the organization is continuing to aid those with mental disabilities and bring them back to their families for a more stable and humane lifestyle.

To demonstrate the extremity of the poor living environments and suffering these mentally disabled Kenyans go through for years, here is a inside story from CNN reporters.