Wyclif Owuor Oguma spent his fellowship at the Human Development Center (HDC) of Louisiana State University’s (LSU) Health Sciences Center where he developed his project to support youth leadership development.
Wyclif is from Eldoret, Kenya, where he currently works as an Occupational Therapist at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. His profession allows him to interact with people living with a wide range of disabilities, including “clients living with physical disabilities, children with developmental disabilities, and clients with mental health disabilities”. Working in OT has given Wyclif skill and exposure to the field’s unique combination of scientific and social intervention training. Outside of clinical work, Wyclif’s professional responsibilities include implementing outreach programs that allow clients to live at home rather than in facilities. His main goal for all clients is independence in living and in making a living. This is also his overarching goal for the global disability community.
Wyclif has worked within the field of occupational therapy throughout his career. He holds a Bachelor of Science in occupational therapy and has worked as an organizing secretary for the Kenya Occupational Therapist Association. He has worked extensively with individuals who have developed disabilities due to accidents or disease (e.g. stroke), as well as those who have always had disabilities (congenital causes). This has intensified his understanding of the impact of disability on the daily life of these individuals, their families and society as a whole.
The PFP-IDE Program provided Wyclif with the connections, experiences, and knowledge necessary to implement his follow-on project of opening a local care center for children with cerebral palsy and a local workshop for youths living with disabilities. The reach of this project has been vast as it seeks to empower both parents of children with disabilities and people with disabilities themselves in the search for employment. Wyclif hopes that the model of his project will be replicable in contexts outside of Eldoret and perhaps outside of Kenya as well.