Posted in disability

Disability is not inability

Saturday morning…yesterday or maybe should rewind back to Wednesday. Hmmmm well this is how it all unfolded.

The Peace Ambassadors Kenya meeting was due on Monday and the chairman was late as he was busy waiting for some form to be officially signed. Having had a busy day the impatient me decided not to wait and head home bearing in my mind that form was needed for some contribution to a disabled school. Wednesday, the form came through and clearly knowing how tight my schedules were i told myself i would collect enough funds before Saturday morning. Thursday passed by and Friday reminded me I was to knock at peoples doors.Impromptu things hang loosely in my mind and it is always difficult to make a decision as at that time. When i was heading home i met my buddies playing their all time favorite sport, basketball. Hastily i approached them and the form quickly had several names on it. How you interact with thy neighbors matters a lot; knocking from door to door and donations were coming through as required. The Heavens really came to my rescue.

Saturday, woke up late deliberately though as my body kept nagging for more sleep and would post-phone the alarm occasionally. Luckily, i was not the only one as my partner in sleep had not made it to the departure venue yet and this made me buy more time in my preparation. Ten o’clock, the journey was made by foot that made us curse the dusty roads leaving us wonder why it never rained on that part of the Sahara. Either we were so damned in our own city or people were nursing hangovers, because we were lost having ended up into the secondary school gate instead of the primary gate. The neatly dressed guard who kept on leaning on the gate bars that literally screamed “NO TRESPASSING”, did not listen to our pleas on trespassing as it was the shorter route to the primary school. An about turn was the only solution as we left to trod on the irritating roads leading to the primary school.

On arrival at Joytown, the joyful smiles welcomed us to a world only a few fathom. DISABILITY. With a population of about 300 children, the boys and girls here depend on their wheelchairs for locomotion. However, not all can spin the wheel and have to depend on staff to do it for them. Before i could begin what i love most-socializing, division of labor had to be done and that is when i followed a group to the rabbit house. Were it not for my agriculture practical back in high school where love turned to loath ( had countable kale leaves for my project as others filled in sacks), amazement rocked back in as i recalled the various breeds from Ear-lops to Chinchillas!! Cleaning was the order here and after that my tour journey began. My other team members were busy cleaning classrooms, corridors, splitting firewood, helping in the kitchen and helping other kids take  their bath.

Physically handicapped defines these bubbly talented children. Ranging from nursery to class eight not forgetting a special unit for those with mental disabilities. Saturday is a free day and majority were out basking under the serene environment of mother nature who had not forgotten them. The candidates were all optimistic as they narrated who they want to be in future; neurosurgeons, deejay, designing, art…. .

Cerebral Palsy, Congenital handicap, Brittle bone, Bow legged and Club foot, Spina Bifida, Poliomyelitis, Muscula Dystrophy describe the various categories that bar this children from performing other tasks. It is amazing how one can feed themselves with their leg, draw with a hand that barely holds a pencil, rap even if they stammer, say a word even if drooling hinders, give a hug or high five since they cannot speak, carry cleaning water in tow with the wheelchair ..I call it God’s miraculous ways. Independence and attaining the relevant skills has been instilled to them.

A loving community has continued to showcase that disability does not hinder one from achieving their goals. Teachers, staff have continued to support them in every way, correcting limbs with deformities through surgery and physiotherapy while still offering education. Not many have the nerve to deal with disabled people as the task is vigorous but for this team in this school thumbs up. More so, the equipments used by this children is very expensive and it takes a lot of support for the ease of accessibility. The adult diapers for example are so costly that  got me thinking if there was to be an alternative.

Lunch time bell rang and we pushed them to the dining hall where githeri was served. A prayer to the Almighty was said out loud in unison and munching began. This is where our donations bought  from the funds we had gathered, were received with jubilation and were almost calling it a day.

The Salvation Army having started several schools mostly catering for handicapped children, has continued to set examples that we need to take care of the vulnerable in societies. Putting aside all our differences aside, let us join efforts and support the physically handicapped.

Having two arms, two legs, no deformity is by His grace. Do we take a moment to say thank you? Do we help our own if they are handicapped? Do we accord the same treatment and respect to the disabled? Are you locking in a loved one behind closed doors because they are physically handicapped? I need no answers for my rhetorical questions but ponder over it as food for thought.

Posted in family

Dear child

First of all mama loves you and she would fight all the demons in this world to save you, give you the best so that you would make it and be the best real friend even though you would doubt my advices. The world as it is was not anywhere near this but thanks to revolution, technology, development advancements things now pretty look like this.

When mama came into this world, things were a bit cool and hell had not gone loose. Communities loved and lived peacefully, radicalization into gangs were unheard of, outbreak of diseases were rare, television and radio stations were countable, fashion had really not hit us but then realized it is a cycle of old fashion pimped into modernity (have a look at granny’s photo album), presidents would rule for several terms, the shilling had not gone berserk and mama’s favorite sweets would go for 50cents. Communication was through letters and I first got an electronic gadget after completing my high school level. Movies back then were of a famous disk joker known as Afro who would translate them, cassettes played my music and that is how I fell in love with the classics.

I must say your grandparents had a way of raising me up that I envy and should probably borrow a leaf. You see a spank did not work if I did something wrong, a thorough beating would go hand in hand to make me the disciplined person I am. The same applied in the schools I was enrolled in before the government changed the laws and the aggressive teachers had to do away with the canes. Am not planning to use a cane but how I pray that you will hear my advices and not act “I-know-it- all” on me.

Traditional meals did and have always made us look this healthy and young. With the plenty recipes at hand I would be disappointed if you only depended on junk food for survival. Cancer, diabetes are just examples of lifestyle diseases consuming our dear ones on a daily basis. Arrow roots, sweet potatoes, yams, cassava, might make you feel like you chewing a rock and stuck on the 19th century, replace them with more unbalanced diets but if you did your veggies, drank water, ate fruits and exercised regularly then I would have no problem.

Nature and site seeing has been a hobby and maybe it will be for you. You will notice that national parks will have either one elephant, a rhino if the poaching menace comes to a halt. Back then when I used to visit, they were in plenty until humanity was deprived from some few goons who hunted them to enrich themselves. It will be very sad for you to see these animals in journals, national geographic programs and miss the face to face encounter. The environment is key in our eco system and the three words to always remember is recycle, reduce and reuse.

Thanks to evolving the old is gone and new things have come up but at a price some pay up dearly. We have a new constitution that has been driving other people mad, transport has been eased up with the construction of a railway line set to boost the economy through regional integration. Expansion projects on airports, ports and roads will make the country an envy to many as we impact our social, economic and political goals. 2015 almost midway the millennium development goals have now been renamed to sustainable development goals, but that does not mean we are to leave them at that. Various institution, individuals and organizations have initiated projects to foresee that conquering these goals comes to reality.

Vision 2030 is our dream. By the time you are of age gears will have shifted a notch higher and maybe not be called a developing nation but be like the G8 nations. Artists in different arenas from music, films, drawing, dancing, publishing books have taken it all and represented our continent in major platforms not forgetting we have the fastest runners, best women volleyball team and the rugby players all who have won the nation many accolades. We are an all-round country as you can see.

However, we are still recovering from vices like corruption, ethnic clashes, terrorism, insecurity, inflation that continue to hinder our success. Loyalty, love, peace have been replaced by hatred and selfish motives that spur up major debates almost on a daily basis. Efforts have and are still been made to curb this. Woe unto you if you embrace them into your generation and this will be the end of a nation.

I fathom am to bring you up in a rotten generation where hard work will rarely be heard of and technology will be your daily bread as you Google almost everything, drown as you try to keep up with the latest trends and lose your creativity in the way. Well, books too have answers but even completing a 100 page book might prove to be a challenge. Books will continue to be written by the famous Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa Thiong’o but unless we cultivate a culture as early as now book stores might run dry and mama’s shelf might never have a book added unto it. Fifa, need for speed, god of war, call of duty games if not replaced by any other might keep you glued to the screen and hate it when I call or send you in the middle of your play. I also love playing them and maybe this shall strengthen our bond as a fun indoor thing as I try to look up for other channels to bond.

Bouncing or cat-walking in the latest fashion and gadgets on the streets all for attention sake in your adolescent age might be the norm. At this stage am prepared with all the talk from sex (since exposure will be on high alert), drugs, peer pressure, sexual orientation (more so in the gay, bisexual and transgender), molestation name them. You will try and throw a party in my house if am away, take my car but only hard work will earn you a Bugatti, bungalow and live your life but mama’s things are out of reach. Luckily, if I play my cards well I will be a senior somewhere with resources at my disposal but that should not trigger your mind that you can have your cake and eat it. I shall not teach you the easy way but you shall learn the hard way with my ultimate guidance, spoiling you only if you deserve it.

Cruising the world as we hop from country to country might be our vacations after we finish exploring our magical land with all it has to offer. This is not as to caress your ego but teach you how to appreciate and love the diverse cultures starting with the 42 in my motherland. To also instill respect and honor in your interactions with different backgrounds. Having been brought up in a Christian family, I shall try to drag you to church even when you whine just to let you know there is a living God who needs to be praised and worshiped.

In your life you will encounter a vulnerable child who wishes to be in your shoes. Do not look down upon them but be their brother or sister’s keeper. Lastly am not bringing you in this world to live, copy paste what has already been done and achieved. Let the genius in you out, make a difference and impact lives.

Hmmmm you are not conceived yet neither have I found that man to whom you shall call papa. Am still searching as they call it and begin that journey of nurturing and molding you. Before then, this are my tutorials on some of the things am to do, say and act upon.

Mama.

Posted in community

Community service

Why community service? Who are the beneficiaries? This is platform used by many to nurture their skills and for some it is a passion. In Africa, the number of vulnerable communities from orphans, widows, street children, and disabled, elderly just to mention a few keeps on rising rapidly. Aid assistance is the common theme where through various platforms relief is offered in terms of food, clothing and funds.

What happens if you have neither of the above to offer? Volunteering in organizations comes in handy where you offer your labor force once in a mean time but we are so preoccupied with other tasks that hinder this. Luckily, I will share how I get to do it and maybe join me.

Back at the University I joined certain clubs as commonly referred. Here I got the chance to explore which ones would nourish my skills, increase my knowledge, network not forgetting adventure.

Rotaract club was my first baby which offered community service to vulnerable groups, which stands for Rotary in Action, a global youth program to address the physical and social needs of communities. We were under the supervision of our seniors, Rotarians, where I noticed that after college it did not end there but graduate to a Rotarian and still do community services. Meetings were held once a week where certain agendas would be debated about and a weekly money contribution would be raised, through various fun channels like surprising someone to do a funny act( singing, dancing) and in support of that members would chip in their pennies or else the victim would pay up according to amount contributed. Every Saturday was a day out as we visited various schools, children homes where cleaning, cooking, playing with the kids, planting trees was the norm. More so, if our kitty had enough funds we would initiate certain projects like installing a water tank, fencing a compound and before the end of the semester we would treat ourselves for an outdoor event like hiking, visiting national parks and lakes as an initiative of promoting the tourism sector; booking a hotel that would offer their delicacies would wind it all as an end of semester party. Ooooh yes we won a trophy of been the most active club in school back then.

Peace Ambassadors Kenya is another platform. As the name suggests it is an initiative for building sustainable peace in Kenya through youth empowerment, engagement and unity. This is a chapter in school under the major umbrella Peace Ambassadors Kenya. So far the chapter has been awarded the trophy of been the best among various universities in a row. Most of the activities involve peace walks that last for several days, peace marathons, mentorship in the interior areas of Baringo and West pokot, community services, attending cultural festivals and interestingly the opportunity of crossing into African countries. A calendar of events is usually presented by our umbrella and the rest is left to us to fix in our chapter events for the semester. Am grateful to have been in a university that ensures clubs events are well funded and students contribute the remainder out of their kitties. An amount of 500ksh is paid for one to be a National PAK member and continue with the peace initiative.

President Award Scheme is an international programme having the bronze, silver and gold as its levels. Age is key as one has to be between 14-25 years in order to receive an award. This is more of an individual challenge to encourage personal discovery and growth, self-reliance, perseverance, responsibility and service to community. Skill, sport and community service (the only element done as a group), are the most elements that a member must indulge in for 3hours in a week, indicate in the record book and approved by a coach who guides one in their activities. I must say the award is tough and requires discipline and sacrifice. On completion of the gold level, the residential project comes in where one broadens experience through involvement with others in a residential setting. The most awaited activity is the adventurous journey on completion of each level that involves hiking, mountain climbing, cycling for days in the woods and many more. The award is usually presented and signed by the President of a nation.

Those are my platforms that made my service towards communities go a notch higher.

The thing about community service is getting exposure and seeing the world as it revolves. You learn how to appreciate, trigger your capacity to another level and transform lives in the process. Networking as you meet various executives and seniors in the corporate world makes work easier as you go out there to hustle for that job. The numerous certificates one gains in all those activities involved, contributes a lot to the all-round you plus interacting with people from different diversities and having new friends.

It not about the food, clothes or money that makes the difference in communities but the services you undertake together as a team to make tomorrow more better. That said, why don’t you take that task today and do some community service.

Posted in happy birthday

24

Way back on 18th June 1991 on a very chilly morning, this beautiful, crazy, bubbly, down to earth lady was introduced to the world at that hospital everyone hates back at the city…..what was its name again?(what did it do?). Well at this prime age my ticking clock reminds me am not growing any younger; Old it is all the way. Excitement may not define me today since at this age a lot of questions hit me hard but I realize I live at the moment.
A birthday party, friends, liquor and all defined madness would have been the norm but today am taking it slow. I realize the person I’ve grown to be and yell out loud…’growing up sucks’, and at times I want to feel like a teen again but the crowd I have is all mature and at times I feel like a dork.
The thing about been mature is realizing God and you make a perfect team most of the times. Life has taught you a lot of hurdles that make you swim clearly through and not drown ever. Aiming for the stars or is it galaxy this days, keeps you preoccupied that you neither realize it is raining outside nor are you seen online 24/7. However, some behaviors never vanish no matter giving it your all like been a tomboy at times, eating junk that never adds weight on you making you wonder if your weight is on menopause!
Dating, flirting are among the things that make your ‘A’ game go down to almost negative. Back then you would even sleep past midnight texting, long night calls but now all you think is that bed at the end of the day to lay that tired body. The number of handsome men leave alone those old grey haired men who want you as a ‘side chic’, that you drool over have now transformed their interest to younger age babes. Hey, bringing my game back in style. Wait for it… it is going to be LEGENDARY! (Barney on how I met your mother should probably say this)
If you plan on starting a family at an early age this is when your attention shifts to serious things with the probability of that lad you have now been the future husband, saving, that life changing career, a car, and nice house are some of the biggest agendas on that neatly carried around diary. Woe unto you if your parent’s money is what sustains you!! Everyone starts thinking something might be wrong with you. Luckily, settling down is not any time soon for me; got to live first, explore and discover.
Back to turning 24………
Gemini horoscope may define my day turnouts but only the Almighty makes it worth living. Thanks to Him I am eager to receive those presents that were promised (dare you forget), black forest cake, that date, that sorry I have been waiting to hear and maybe a night out to remind me I can still move like Jagger and not crack a bone. On that note all speakers should either be going hummer on classics (I love old-school) or hip-hop (the bitch I have turned out to be). Then come tomorrow I can start thinking straight and lay down my strategies for needs and wants to be fulfilled before 25( wait, that should have been done in new year…). Not forgetting to ask Him for other many more years.
Relax, enjoy, it is just like any other day only that birthday has been added to the later.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY. CHEERS!!!
Ps. Listen to what the world is telling you and take a leap. There are certain things in life when you know it is a mistake but you don’t really know it is a mistake because the only way to really know it is a mistake, is to make a mistake and look back and say “yes that was a mistake.” The bigger mistake would be not make the mistake because then you would go your whole life not knowing if something really is a mistake or not.

Posted in fatherhood

FATHERS

They are the head of families in our homes, we look up to them to pay the bills and the pocket size earns them respect. Our FATHERS. That figure head is very important more so in how a child is socialized in society. Trust me if your child did not have a father figure to look up to even if it was a brother, uncle or grandpa; then that girl grew up to love sugar daddies and that boy somehow developed girlish behavior with the large crowd of girls as his buddies. Well do not get it twisted if you are a single mum am just speaking from seeing it.

To stop beating about the bush, every second week of June we celebrate Father’s Day. This is a day set aside to cherish our dear fathers who were it not for their contribution in that genetic makeup we would never exist. Brunch, tie, pair of socks, a Calvin wrist watch, a lazy boy chair, a card, picture frame to put at his work desk, a leather pair of shoes are some of the gifts we ought to get them to at least say thank you for their sacrifices.

Unlike Mother’s Day that is full of pomp and color you would think that our fathers never gave us a share of their love. I fathom some have to be away for months as that humongous salary at the end of the month is the source of livelihood, others depend on a brown bottle and every night cause chaos to their families who end up been the talk of the week, for some that other “side mama” as commonly referred by villagers keeps them busy to a point of forgetting they have a family, another category is of don’t cares where their families view them as picture hanging on the wall literally since they never contribute to anything; while the others are those who work tirelessly to make ends meet.

According to my survey, fathers are described in all ill terms but behind that talk can’t help but notice the tingling love they have for them dangling in those hateful eyes. Putting aside all grievances, they sacrificed their time, money, jobs to be with their families in one way or the other. That little or enormous thing they did should be appreciated for them to feel at home. Their ego may confuse them that all is well but did you ever talk to him about it? The same way we run to our mothers for opinions, did we at least take a moment and ask dad too? When was the last time you wished him a happy birthday leave alone a father’s day? Or send him an encouraging message since calling to hear his voice was pathetic?

Yesterday was father’s day and I asked my friends if they remembered to wish their dads a good one but it slipped through their minds. No excuses for that. To make it more worse this day is also not recognized by many especially our fathers. I woke up all excited to wish mine and the first reply “it is today?” Then a thank you followed later. Our calendars are usually marked in bold, different ink pen to symbolize an event we waiting in awe. However, this day passes unrecognized and it is either the media through the hashtags that go viral during the day or someone who accidentally mentions it that it hits us.

You may have forgotten it was his day but if his birthday is almost coming up, surprise him. Let us embrace our fathers for all the good and bad they do, they still are and will always be our fathers.

I raise a glass in honor of all fathers……let us make a toast. Cheers!!!