A DORCHESTER speech therapist has spent 2013 volunteering her time to show disability does not equal inability.
As reported in the Echo last year, Rachael Gibson was fundraising to help children in western Kenya who suffer from cerebral palsy and other disabilities that affect speech.
People in Kenya with disabilities are often ostracised from society and children are sometimes refused entry to mainstream schools.
She said: “Working with a family of a child with disabilities and supporting them through the process of accepting their child is one of the most rewarding parts of my work.
“A little girl I work with is almost four and couldn’t speak or really engage with anyone.
“Six months later, she's now developing speech and will play with others.
“The best thing was her mum telling me that she was no longer embarrassed by her little girl.
“She loved her and was enjoying the process of supporting her speech development.”
Since featuring in the Echo, Rachael has raised £3,500 for transport costs to see patients, pay for resources and set up a support group in Kisumu for mothers and children with disabilities.
She first learned about the plight of disabled Kenyan children when she volunteered with Yellow House Children’s Services.
Rachael will start the new year with a new job as she officially becomes employed by the charity and hopes to stay working in Kenya until mid 2015.
She said: “I enjoy the non-clinical side developing Yellow House Children's Services as an organisation.
“We’ve just registered as a charitable trust in Kenya, which means we can do more lobbying and working with existing infrastructures to develop a service.”
For further information about the project, visit bea-yellowhouse .blogspot.co.uk/