International Rescue Committee (IRC)

"Disability is not inability"

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.

The IRC is the only provider of health care in the Kakuma refugee camp in northwestern Kenya, where our community-based rehabilitation program is providing life-changing assistance to people living with disabilities.  
This week, IRC grants intern Jane Yang is sharing some of their stories:
KAKUMA, Kenya - “I stepped on a land mine,” 36-year-old John Ngarben told me matter-of-factly. It was June 3, 1993, and he had been hunting in the Sudanese bush for food. When John was found, he was brought back to his village but left untreated for seven days before the Kenya Red Cross transported him to Lokichoggio, Kenya, where doctors amputated his left leg below the knee. He was given a pair of crutches and transferred to Kakuma refugee camp. 
In 1996, John began working as a community-based rehabilitation (CBR) trainer for the IRC during its original rehabilitation program. When the program closed in 2007 due to lack of funding, John moved on to work for a number of other organizations, including Handicap International. But when I met him sporting a t-shirt declaring “Disability Is Not Inability,” John had rejoined the IRC staff, the program having been restarted. As a  community-based rehabilitation supervisor, he is helping to identify other individuals in the refugee camp who are living with disabilities, referring them to available services
“The IRC has achieved a lot,” John said, “especially with the devices their CBR workshop makes that enable people with disabilities to have livelihoods.” 
In March 2011, the IRC sponsored John to receive a prosthetic leg. With his newfound mobility, John now not only enjoys taking walks, but also playing soccer with his three children.
1 comment


Am a deaf lady and a Kenyan.

Am a deaf lady and a Kenyan. I worked under Handicapped International during the 2007/8 PEV. I saw so many disabled people in the camps who were not attended to. The deaf in particular had no interpreters, parents of deaf people didnt know that there were schools for deaf people where they could send their children. My question being- is it possible for IRC to employ some deaf people who can be of assistance in providing services to the deaf people and leading their IRC staff where needed. Thank you