Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. CP is the most common motor disability in childhood. Cerebral means having to do with the brain. Palsy means weakness or problems with using the muscles. CP is caused by abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain that affects a person’s ability to control his or her muscles.
Stigmatization on people round the CP spectrum is real, mothers of such children being chased out of marriages and families.A 2016 study by the Orion Foundation, indicates that 91 per cent of caregivers for people living with the condition in Kenya are mothers, and most have to quit their jobs in order to provide that care
The fight against stigmatization of cerebral palsy people is taking shape as many organizations are being formed to advocate for the rights of person around the spectrum.
A child is a child regardless of condition, every child requires love and caring from parents and the society.
Christine Arunga Mutole, is a Kenyan heroine mother who through the death of her son came up with a unique saloon.
When walk around Donholm Estate phase 8 area in Nairobi, you will come across so many saloons and barbershops, which among them there is the BM CELEBRAL PALSY SALOON.
The salon was started in March 2020 after the first Covid-19 case was reported in the country to provide a lively hood for caregivers of children with cerebral palsy by giving them employment as well as creating a safe space for persons living with cerebral palsy to make their hair.
The saloon, which according to the founder was not put to serve only people with cerebral palsy but everyone. Every time someone makes their hair in the saloon, they are supporting someone with CP to have access to diapers, medication, therapy sessions and even put food on their table.
As well put, ’ONLY PARENTS UNDERSTAND THE PAIN KISDS GO THROUGH’, the creation of the saloon was motivation from Ann’s late son who had cerebral palsy who passed on at the age of 8years. The experience she had with her son taught her humanity and understanding of what other parents in the CP spectrum go through.
Although the son is gone, Christine sees the son through the children she gives services to. The death of son her son broke her since was not tired of taking take of him.
Christine is not walking the journey alone, thanks support from her husband and her three younger daughters who are now 7, 6 and 5 years old.
BY: SILAS ABBAS