Episode 58:

Inclusion Kenya-Style

Date released: February 2015. Updated September 2017

Partners: Peter Bukhala

In Episode 58 we look at the work of Peter Bukhala at Camp Shriver in Nairobi, Kenya. Peter faces many challenges in putting the program together—none of which have stopped him making a success of Camp Shriver.

Headshot of Peter BukhalaMeet Peter Bukhala. Peter works at the Health Promotion and Sports Science Department at the Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology in Kakamega, Kenya. Peter is the driving force and coach with an initiative called Camp Shriver. In todays episode we are going to take a look at Camp Shriver as there are valuable inclusive lessons to be learnt for all of us, particularly in the way Peter and Camp Shriver uses sport as a vehicle to not only encourage participation and community development but also as a means to impact on broader goals, such as improved nutrition, hygiene and general fitness. This is a real life community development model of inclusion.

First we’ll explain a little about Camp Shriver. Then we will look at some of the challenges facing Peter and his team and the progress they are making.

The aim of Camp Shriver is:

“To educate persons with intellectual disabilities and their caregivers on good health behaviours in areas of nutrition, general hygiene and physical fitness.’”

Peter Bukhala

Critical to the delivery of this aim was the training of trainers. For this, Peter turned to his students at the university, providing 12 students with pre-program training in nutrition, hygiene, physical activity and Special Olympics programs. Training was based on material developed by staff using the Special Olympics Community-Based Health Promotion model.

Once the materials and training were complete they set about the recruitment of participants from existing Special Olympics programs and Special Schools, collecting demographic information and individual physical data. Before long they recruited 104 young people and 50 caregivers. You can see, people were queueing to be involved.

The training sessions were 45 minutes per topic, delivered by the students with young people and parents all together. Group discussions were conducted by gender prior to a series of sports activities, nutrition training sessions, demonstrations and hygiene awareness.

Now before we look at the results of the program, it’s important to consider this in the cultural context in which Peter and Camp Shriver is operating. In the video clip below you will get a good idea of how the program operates and Peter talks about some of the cultural challenges they face.

Of the 1.6 million Kenyans with a disability most will not have access to this type of program. Peter talked about some of the reasons why this is the case, not least convincing the parents that the program is a viable option for their children. This is sometimes not an easy task in Kenya due to some of the cultural challenges as the video below so starkly illustrates.

We are sure you get a strong idea of the cultural challenges here.

The evaluation of the program revealed a number of important outcomes including improved health outcomes for participants, greater levels of confidence of the participants and caregivers and importantly the empowering of parents across a wide range of skills and activities. While the children participated in the sports program parents were provided with training in important activities such as soap making, basket weaving, beadwork and managing money.

Peter Bukhala, through Camp Shriver, is doing great work in a challenging environment—not that it stops him and his colleagues going forward with a program based on sound principles of inclusion and delivered in an intelligent and considered way.

Please add your comments and thoughts below, we are sure Peter would love to know what you think.


About the author: Peter Downs

About the author: Peter Downs

Founding Director - The Inclusion Club

Peter is Founding Director of The Inclusion Club and Manager of Play by the Rules – a national initiative to promote safe, fair and inclusive sport. Peter has worked for over 25 years in the field of inclusive sport, disability sport and physical activity including 17 years managing the Australian Sports Commission’s Disability Sport Unit.  In 2013 Peter was fortunate enough to receive a Churchill Fellowship to study models of best practice in inclusive sport and physical activity.