Happy #feelgoodfriday! Today we wanted to share about a celebration in our small Kenyan town which brought the community together to commemorate persons with disabilities and embrace the spirit of Ubuntu. More than 200 people marched on the streets from the bustling city center where our special needs school is located to the edge of town where Cafe UBUNTU sits nestled in the Great Rift Valley.
"It was a truly eye opening experience when people turned up in high numbers at 9:00am at the Ubuntu offices on a Sunday morning. Everyone was so excited and energized - the marching band was ready and testing their instruments and when we began the walk the music filled the air, it was as if the entire Maai-Mahiu town came to life. It was so beautiful how people came out of their houses and shops to watch us. Many children danced to the tunes of the band without a care in the world as we marched past them and their families (this actually brought tears to my eyes).
People held out their hands to pick up the fliers we were handing out and everyone in town read the banner held in front which we boldly held high as the procession grew bigger every step we made. One thing’s for sure, the message got home.
"Today is the International Day for People with Disabilities."
It was humbling to see people who were obviously struggling to walk either by themselves or others carrying heavy children pushing themselves as we inched closer and closer to our destination. But nevertheless there was laughter and excitement - the walk had brought everyone closer. For those few hours, everyone put aside their pain and their struggles - we were connected as humanity, as people. It was beautiful.
As we finally reached Cafe Ubuntu you could feel the pride in everyone’s heart for pushing themselves to participate in something bigger than all of us. We culminated the day with words from Jeremiah Kuria (Ubuntu Co-Founder and Kenya Director), Mr. Kinyanjui (chairman of the Maai-Mahiu group of people with physical challenges) and our local Chief representing the government. Hefty issues affecting people with disabilities were discussed but the day came to a close with the same energy we had at the beginning with everyone visibly satisfied with what they’d done for that day.
It was truly a beautiful day."
- Kelvin Chege, Ubuntu Occupational Therapist