HPC Recipe Six, 2016

Recipe name: Embracing Disability in a Complex Protracted Refugee Settlement

Origin of the recipe

Dadaab is the largest refugee camp in the world with a population of 343,043 people. An estimated 12,000 of this population are people with disabilities.
In light of this, Handicap International started a project in the camp whose goal was to promote dignity and self-reliance of persons with disabilities in Dadaab Refugee Camps through equal access to Protection, Rehabilitation, Health, and other humanitarian services. The project has been implemented in Dagahaley, Ifo1 and Ifo2 camps in Dadaab refugee camp.

The objectives of the project were twofold

  • To improve the protection of persons with disabilities and reduce their vulnerability through increased awareness of and access to protection mechanisms and key mainstream humanitarian services.
  • To ensure person with disabilities have access to health and rehabilitation services to improve their overall well-being, inclusion, and participation.

Various challenges were faced during implementation of the project including

  • Stigmatization and discrimination of people with disabilities in the community. Women and girls were reported as being the most affected, with 77 cases of rights violation reported between March 2015 and March 2016.
  • Children with disabilities faced challenges accessing education. This involved lack of physical access with inadequate ramps in schools, inaccessible toilets, doors and footpaths. For those with visual and auditory impairments, communication was also a barrier to education.
  • While accessing health care, it was found that most hospital personnel were not adequately trained on disability etiquette, leading to persons with disabilities feeling misunderstood.
  • Needs for people with disabilities were also not considered in livelihood projects. There was lack of lacks clear employment and business policies to cater for persons with disabilities thus singling them out of employment opportunities.


Wycliffe Osango
  • One informed and articulate presenter: Wycliffe Osango, Handicap International (View his profile HERE)
  • 21 representatives comprised of policy makers (Government officials and Donor agencies), United Nations Agencies in Kenya, Humanitarian Practitioners (INGOs), Academia (Universities and Scholars), Civil society (Disable Peoples Organizations and Older Persons Organisations) and Private sector players (Corporates).
  • One roving microphone
  • Lots of water


Place all the ingredients into the Amani room at the Boma Inn Hotel and cook evenly for 30 minutes.

Ongoing plenary discussion during one of the breakaway sessions


  • With support from Handicap International, CARE constructed accessible latrines in 7 primary schools in the camp.
  • Improved access to financial services for people with disabilities. Through the Village Saving and Loan (VSL), 20 groups of people with disabilities have benefited.
  • Increased employment opportunities by agencies across the three camps, which has in turn reduced their vulnerabilities and negative perceptions within the society.
  • 60 police officers have been trained on disability mainstreaming in relation to sexual and gender based violence by Handicap International mainstreaming team.
  • 30 accessible toilets have been constructed across the three camps by Kenya Red Cross, Care International with technical support from Handicap International
  • A treatment plan has been put by Kenya Red Cross for patients with mental illness.
  • The maternity ward in Ifo1 camp has been made more accessible
  • Non-discrimination messages disseminated to community members through film.


  • Handicap International