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Dorchester woman helps disabled African children with their speech
A DORCHESTER speech therapist is hoping to prove that disability is not inability to people on the other side of the world.
Rachael Gibson, 27, spent time working with Yellow Children’s Services in western Kenya last year, helping those with cerebral palsy and other disabilities that affect speech.
She is now so passionate about her work she is setting up her own campaign to give speech therapy to disabled Kenyans.
Rachael needs to raise around £7,500 so she can travel back to Kenya and continue her work. She has so far raised just over £1,700 but needs to raise the remaining funds by February 10.
Rachael said: “Here, we have lots of help for people with disabilities.
“But people with disabilities in Kenya are ostracised from the community. There is a huge stigma attached to disabilities.
“Children with disabilities are often refused entry into mainstream schools. Not only is it important for those children to receive an education, if other children could interact with someone with disabilities they would learn that they are no different, which would reduce prejudice.”
She said people who have suffered strokes or been incapacitated in accidents or due to illnesses get little help. Rachael is involving families affected by disability in her fundraising campaign.
The mothers of children who need speech therapy have been making jewellery which is sent to donators who give $40 – around £25. She said: “MUDSTEP – the Mumias Disability Sustainable Training and Empowerment Project – is a project set up by myself and another volunteer.
“The mothers were coming to an assessment centre in Mumias to receive free occupational and speech and language therapy and wanted to have a way to generate an income to support themselves and their child.”
To support Rachael’s work visit indiegogo.com/speechinkenya