Friday Project Update: SHERP

Today I am going to share information about a local hero who some consider a “rogue woman” while others celebrate her daring work to save the lives of children with physical disabilities.

Organization: SHERP
Location: Maralal, Kenya

Context: Did you know that the Samburu tribe believe that if a woman has a disabled child, she is cursed? That the mother is ordered to kill the baby, abandon it, or be banished from the tribe?

Background: GO’s Local Hero Grace Seneiya went against local custom and started to rescue these children; she found them in garbage pits, tethered to shrubs, or abandoned on the side of the road. To each child, she gave a home and a hope for their future. Today, she loves and cares for 130 disabled children at the Samburu Handicap Education and Rehabilitation Program, an orphanage and training school.

Current Status: In March 2016, GO Campaign approved a grant for $23,817 to SHERP. Funds are being used to repair the infrastructure at the orphanage so children will have a better quality of life. Funds have already fixed the sewage system and repaired the electrical wiring. During this final phase of the project, funds will be used to fix the water pump for SHERP’s borehole so the children have access to clean water.

Meet Cairo:

Cairo’s mother was asked by her family to leave Cairo behind when the tribe moved. Cairo’s mother refused and instead chose to stay behind with her daughter. After leaving the family, Cairo’s mother learned about SHERP and traveled there seeking support. At SHERP, Cairo was diagnosed with cerebral palsy which affects her speech and mobility. They also learned her excessive drooling was a result of overproduction of saliva; this condition predisposes her to pneumonia and other respiratory diseases. Cairo’s mom left her at SHERP, and now Cairo is a happy teenager who is now able to communicate and is learning to care for herself!