In the last update, I informed you that we had changed our name from Kenya Disabled Action Network to Action Network for the Disabled (ANDY);it is indeed expected that this new status comes with lots of challenges and responsibilities as we are now a national organization responding to the needs of Young People with Disabilities countrywide.
My colleagues have been upbeat about this development and putting in much needed efforts to realize our dream at a national level. This only means we have been spending time to plan on what it entails to work at a national level and looking for the required resources to fulfill those responsibilities as well.
Many of you have remained steadfast in making sure that our objectives are met due to your constant support and the belief you have in our initiative, I want to extent a personal THANK YOU and from our team including those that we work with.
We are both committed to ensure that no young person with any challenge is left behind just on the mere account of having a disability; it is our belief that we can indeed eradicate poverty if persons with disabilities are adequately empowered to lead independent and sustainable lives.
This brings me to one case we have dealt with in the recent past and through your donation-a positive impact has been achieved in the life of Martin.
Martin is a wheelchair user and had acquired relevant academic qualifications that warranted employment. This was however not the case, he remained in the cold for quite a long time until he was introduced to our initiative and took part in a one-month training on employability that is run from our office.
He came every morning on his old wheelchair that he had stayed with for ages since schooling time and when job advertisements came out from one of the Government`s Ministry, we encouraged him to apply and he was invited for an interview. The panel was surprised to see him at first and was wondering if the CV they had shortlisted and prioritized as the best was indeed his!
To cut the long story short, Martin nearly lost that job even after emerging successful until the Ministry decided to call us as he had put the name of our initiative as his referees. We managed to convince them that Martin would indeed work just as anybody else and we offered to support them whenever they needed support to ensure that it was indeed a good learning experience. And to ensure that Martin was also taken seriously and was able to commute easily to the work station, we bought him a wheelchair through your support that he is now using.
Colleagues at his work station have learn`t a great deal from him based on one of the visit we paid them and they are excited to have that particular opportunity!
This is what it means supporting our project, you do not only change an individual (Martin) you change the entire attitude of those who haven’t had knowledge about disability when they see a person with disability performing beyond their expectations.
When you enable us assist a person with a mobility aid, it is replicated in many ways as they can lead decent independent lives and are able to participate actively in economic activities.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
I herein wish to inform you that,as from 14th January 2010,we legally changed our name from Kenya Disabled Action Network (KEDAN) to Action Network for the Disabled (ANDY) after our successfully registration with the Government of Kenya through the NGO Board.The current registration gives us a larger legal mandate to implement our work nationally thus reaching larger audiences than before with our important work.
We had to change name due to the Government`s requirements to be registered as an NGO.
We hosted a re-launch event that was attended by the Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Youth and Sports amongst other guests.
At the moment,we are now focused on planning for our national work in view of our new mandate.It is at this juncture that we need all of our supporters the most to contribute with ideas on how we should strategically expand our work and where to find the requisite resources to make it happen as planned.
We want to thank you all for remaining steadfast in supporting our work and do encourage you to urge your friends to consider supporting our project.
On our website,we have put a section on how one can get involved in our work by becoming a friend of the organization,this also applies to corporate institutions willing to support our workin any possible way.
We welcome your thoughts and do look forward to continuing with this work of empowering young disabled people through your valuable support.
It gives me a great pleasure to share with you an achievement made in the last week during a week-long retreat in Washington D.C.
This is in relation to an award bestowed on me by the International Youth Foundation by selecting me as one of this year`s YouthActionNet Global Fellow,joining a group of 20 other young social enterpreneurs working on community projects that advance the empowerment of young people all over the world.
Launched in 2001 by the International Youth Foundation (IYF) and Nokia, YouthActionNet® seeks to develop a new generation of socially conscious global citizens who create positive change in their communities, their countries, and the world.
“Each of the 2009 YouthActionNet® Fellows are passionate, committed young leaders who chose not to look the other way when they saw a problem, but to take a stand,” said IYF President and CEO William S. Reese. “Through their efforts, companies in Colombia are learning how to operate sustainably, low-income farmers in Zimbabwe are able to send their children to school, and youth in violence-prone neighborhoods in the U.S. are learning to be peace-builders.”
It is through your support and dedication to our work that this is made possible,we look forward to the possibilities provided by this recognition to our initiative.
As we share the success;we are reminded of the tasks a head and committments that will enable us make life habitable to persons with disabilities in our societies.
In that view,it would be worth considering donating again to this project or informing a friend of the possibilities available for us to receive a matching grant based on the donations made on our page.
We also wish to remind our supporters that,Globalgiving is able to provide tax receipts for donations made in the US and UK.
We thank you for your continued support.
Gerald Cook and Kara Wevers are students who travelled throughout Africa and visited a number of GlobalGiving projects. On March 18th they visited "Support 100 disabled youth with Assistive devices." When asked what they would tell their friends about this project, Gerald said "Incredible: You need to see this!" while Kara said "Great: They are making a difference."
Kara Wevers and I arrived at KEDAN’s office around 1:30pm. Fredrick Ouko and his colleges were kind enough to interrupt their lunches to meet with us. Upon entering the office, I could not help but notice that the worker there themselves were disabled and walked with the help of metallic crutches.
We started by asking a variety of questions about his organization and their services. The organization was quite amazing. They candidly discussed a variety of topics. Their organization does a lot of great work including obtaining supplies and equipment for disabled individuals living in the slums, as well as leading workshops, sporting games, and other events to educated and help people to socially interact. In the middle of our interview, one of the men had to excuse himself in order to lead a human rights workshop.
We then took a small tour of the area and met with many beneficiaries. One room was filled with computers and it seemed some form of computer literacy was taking place. They were kind enough to allow us access to the room where the human rights workshop. We watched as a man stood at the front of a small, very crowded room and lectured about individual rights. Two different people stood signing, presumably into two different languages, to “translate.” He asked me to briefly introduce myself and I must admit feeling a bit strange as these two people “translated” all of my words into sign language. That was definitely a first!
There were a lot of beneficiaries present and most were excited to be introduced and to talk to us. It was obvious that the organization was holding a few events that day and that the people there felt extremely comfortable with all of KEDAN’s staff and with us. We shared few stories and someone taught me “the Kenyan way” to shake hands with a friend (slap hands hard into a handshake, switch grips to an “arm-wrestling-position,” then switch grips again back into a handshake position).
Overall an amazing experience. I would personally vouch for this organization and encourage anyone to donate knowing 100% that they are legitimate and doing good work.
Don’t you love it when a group of people recognizes injustice and decides to do something about it? That’s exactly what they’re all about at KEDAN (Kenya Disabled Action Network). Fredrick Ouko and his committed staff realized that the needs of disabled people living in the Nairobi slums were not being met. So they have been working to advocate for the rights of this disabled community. Their passion comes from their personal experiences as many of them live with their own physical disabilities.
When I had the chance to visit with them last month, I was able to see their staff in action. I saw them teaching computer classes and leading trainings on basic human rights. I got to speak with a few people who had received assistive devices like crutches and canes as a result of KEDAN. They were very grateful and gushed about the generosity of KEDAN and the positive changes that resulted in their lives after receiving their new devices. It seems that not only does KEDAN help disabled adults, they also work to give them hope for a better life. What a valuable contribution to the wellbeing of this Kibera community!
I take this opportunity on behalf of over 20 young disabled people who have been lucky to benefit from your generosity that enabled us donate mobility aids to them thus restoring hope in their lives.
In particular,i would wish to inform you of the great assistance you have accorded to Violet Ndindi,this young lady was indeed faced with myriad problems given her multiple disabilities.
Her case was to brought to our attention by officials of a community organization who knew our sphere of work as they have seen Violet`s mother struggling everyday to carry her on her back.
We requested a meeting with her where she explained all that she has gone through taking care of her daughter,it is these acts that enabled us to connect with her motherly love and saw the need of assisting her with a wheelchair so that it would be easy for her to move around with her daughter on a wheelchair.
After donating the wheelchair to Violet,her mother found her an institution where she has started attending to meet with her colleagues and not remain in isolation and we believe that this is the hope that a mobility aid can bring into lives of many who cannot access such.
We thank you all for your acts of generosity and for assisting young disabled people just as Violet.
We look forward for your continued support in restoring hope in the lives of many.
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