VOICES FROM THE FIELDTHE IRC BLOG
In Kenya, hope for people living with disabilities
January 4, 2012 by Jane Yang
|Dario Waodiond, 25, lost the use of both his legs to polio at age three. Today, he is a medical assistant at an IRC hospital. Photo: Jane Yang/IRC|
Kenya is home to hundreds of thousands of refugees, and the International Rescue Committee supports them and native Kenyans with clean water, health care and protection during emergencies, and with job training and education on legal rights and protections.
Susan asked Dario if he would tell me his story. That’s when I noticed his legs. Withered and unearthly thin below the knees, Dario couldn’t support his own weight. He threw another smile in my direction as he calmly lowered himself onto the ground and, using his flip-flops to cushion his palms, made his way to a hand-powered tricycle provided by the IRC.
“From what my mother has told me, I was born okay,” Dario began, “but when I was three years old, I got polio. At the time, there was a war in Sudan. I was at a boarding school for Catholics and my parents were so far away. Then, one day my father came and took me to Lokichoggio [to escape the war]. From there, a village mate took me to Kakuma. I haven’t seen my parents since.”