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Disability Pride month

July, the month of the Disability Pride: networking at a local level and at a global level as well, to overcome the obstacles
di Lydia Rosasi
Tempo di lettura 3 min lettura
26 luglio 2022 Aggiornato alle 19:00

Disability Pride Month is an annual awareness month which looks to celebrate people with disability and the diversity of our community. The reason behind the month is a chance to share the joy and pride that disabled people can bring to their local and global communities. In my country, Kenya, the disabled community is a vibrant part of society and makes up 2.2% of the population according to the 2019 census report, and we are proud of that.

This year I would like to celebrate the disability pride month by sharing my story and experiences as well as my aspirations. Since I was nine years old, I have had a physical disability that makes it difficult for me to walk long distances or sit for long periods of time and occasioned with very painful muscle pulls. Growing up after this time almost seemed impossible.

Being in lower primary in a community that thought being disabled is a bad omen and that a child with disability should not be educated, saw me lose all friends, I used to sit alone in class and I was actually nicknamed ‘single’ because only my left leg was active. This kind of isolation and harassment only left me traumatized. However, I was lucky that this didn’t stop me from achieving my dreams. My family has always believed in me and understood my potential. At high school and college levels, I was encouraged by staff and students alike. I am proud to say I was a top performer academically, graduating from Rongo University, Kenya with a degree in Communication and Public Relations.

After what I went through, I vowed in my heart that any person with disability that I come across, I would always treat them right and give them the necessary support. Sometimes I have shared opportunities and even asked for leads to people who need the support to accept themselves through my social media especially on whatsapp. This has seen me receive calls from different people who want me to talk to them or their friends or family on self acceptance and I am happy that so far I have been able to reach to 35 people with disability from different parts of Kenya.

The onset of the covid-19 pandemic pushed me into further action. Together with one of my friends that I have immensely supported, we co-founded the Ladies with Disability Development Forum through which we were able to support people with disability navigate this difficult time. We have now advanced to the advocacy of the rights of people with disability and we hope that by the end of this month we will be able to move outside the Kenyan county of Migori to reach more people with disability and to celebrate them as we culminate the disability pride month. We are in the process of reaching out to well wishers who are able to support us with any amount or items such as sanitary towels that we can give out on this special occasion.

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