Monicah succeeds against the odds

Mar 5, 2024


When a community development organisation in Kenya received training in disability rights, they made a conscious decision to include people living with disabilities.

This wonderful approach has helped Monicah Mwongeli greatly. Monicah is 31, married and has two children attending primary school. She is a member of Kiangini disabled group and has a unilateral hearing loss disability. Monicah’s group is part of Kiangini Development CBO in Makueni County which was formed through the support of AID’s Kenyan partner, Anglican Development Services, Eastern (ADSE).

She shares her story here.

“The situation before ADSE interventions in our community was really bad, especially for the disabled persons. The disabled persons were left at home alone and not involved in any community developmental work. We lacked adequate knowledge on how to empower ourselves and uplift our living conditions. The government did not value the disabled persons at all, even those in leadership positions. The majority of the disabled children were left at home alone when others went to schools due to the fear of stigmatization by other pupils. The level of association with others was also minimal because we did not have a disability support group in the location.

Our group has participated in several trainings done by ADSE. We have been trained on basket making as an income-generating activity. Through the training, we are able to sell the baskets and get some income to sustain ourselves. The group is also benefitting from a farm pond which was established in the first year of the project implementation. I have been involved in the nursery establishment and farm management of the farm pond site. Additionally, each member in our group has received one galla goat[1] supported by ADSE. We have been involved in sensitization forums whereby NCPWD came to educate us on how we can benefit from their programs. Lastly, I have hugely benefitted from this project by getting a full salon kit support’’.

My life has greatly changed in all perspectives socially, physically, and financially. Before ADSE, I was not a member of any group in the area but [I learned] through sensitization [of the] importance of uniting with the others. I am now associated with Kiangini disabled group whereby we all understand our purpose and goals. Secondly, through the skills gained in basket making, I have been able to make 17 baskets so far, gaining an income of 15,500 Kenya shillings [about $165]. The money was used to pay school fees for my two children and the rest to boost my salon business in Kiangini Market. I had a salon before, but it was not generating a lot of income because it lacked some important equipment. Through ADSE’s support with a hair drier, water kettle, blow dryer, hair straighteners, salon towels, combs, hair clippers, shampoo, conditioners, and hair nourishment, my income has highly increased from 5,000 Kenya shillings per month to currently 15,000 per month [about $160]. I have been saving the money to purchase a small plot to construct my own kiosk because currently some of the money I make is consumed in monthly rent expenses.

Thanks to awareness-raising conducted by the project, Monicah and her colleagues have disability identification cards which enable them to access services and exemptions through the National Council of Persons with Disabilities. For example, as a disability identity cardholder, she doesn’t pay a license fee for her business because people with disabilities in Kenya are not required to. Monicah’s female galla goat has already given birth twice. So, her family enjoys getting goat’s milk which has reduced the cost of buying milk in the market daily.

Monicah and other members of the Kiangini group have come a long way from the days when children with disabilities were kept at home and denied an education, and when adults were excluded from the development work in their communities. However, many more children and adults living with disabilities in Kenya are still not afforded these basic human rights. ADSE wishes to expand this project shortly to include more people living in marginal regions of Kenya, and to include more people living with disabilities.

Your gift to this project can make a real difference to people who deserve so much more. To learn more about the project and to donate, please visit

[1] Galla goats are a strong drought- and disease-resistant breed of goat.

Logo Australian Aid

We have committed to contribute $1 for every $5 we receive from the Australian Government. This means that every donation you make to this project will be combined with funding from the Australian Government to reach more people. Your donation will allow us to extend this program.

AID wishes to thank all who support this project through prayer and/or donations.