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Walk With Me is a campaign by The Action Foundation that was launched in June 2016 to advocate for the right to mobility and inclusion for persons with disabilities while raising funds to achieve this.
It has been 10 years since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) by the UN General Assembly in December 2006. This is a great achievement that recognizes the move from a charitable and medical approach to a human rights-based approach, ensuring an inclusive and accessible development for all.
The Walk With Me initiative echoes the Sustainable Development Goals that seek to ensure that no one is left behind. This initiative ensures that friends, family members and fellow citizens who live with disability are not segregated and are socially protected. Through this initiative The Action Foundation seeks to raise awareness about discrimination, barriers and inequality and fight the stigma and stereotypes that exist about people with disabilities. We believe that people with disabilities have desires, feelings, aspirations, hope, and dreams — just like any other person in society and thus their disability should not be used to undermine and deny those opportunities and the desire to live a full life.
We believe that people with disabilities have desires, feelings, aspirations, hope, and dreams — just like any other person in society.
The highlight of the Walk With Me campaign in 2016 was a walk that was held on 10th Dec 2016 at the scenic Karura Forest. The theme of the event was “Building Hope for Children with Disabilities” with the aim of raising awareness on the need to include people with disabilities while raising funds to construct an Inclusive Community Center in Kibera.
Walk With Me 2016 garnered public support leading to individuals contributing expertise, finances and building materials for the initiative. The hash tag #WalkWithMeKE was a tool of solidarity and advocacy for online supporters.
The event brought together over 70 participants including adults and children living with disabilities, friends of The Action Foundation, partners, supporters and Disabled Persons Organizations. Walk with Me 2016 sparked a new thinking on disability where participants supported adults and children with disabilities to walk through the forest, as they volunteered to carry those who were too exhausted to walk or unable to go down the slope to the waterfalls.
Walk with Me 2016 sparked a new thinking on disability.
It was resounding that persons with disabilities are not problems to be fixed but people of value and contributors to the vitality of their communities. The Action Foundation is proactive in advocating for accessible environment, a right to education for all, health, participation in community activities and other social activities. The Walk With Me campaign will run annually to promote the well-being of persons with disabilities and realize our vision of breaking barriers that prevent the inclusion of people with disabilities.
Persons with disabilities are not problems to be fixed but people of value and contributors to the vitality of their communities.
The 2016 Campaign’s goal was to support the construction of the Imani Inclusive Community Center to promote the rehabilitation and care for children with disabilities, advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities and economically empower care givers of children with disabilities. The center will be self-sustaining, community led and fully participatory.
Fundraising efforts are ongoing to turn this vision into a reality. To support visit the donation page.
[This article was written by Maria Omare and Sarah Nasimiyu]
The Action Foundation (TAF) is a youth led, volunteer based, grassroots organization in Kenya that enables children with disabilities in low income areas to lead healthy and dignified lives. TAF works to create a barrier-free society through community-based rehabilitation and disability awareness. Children who live in poverty and have a disability are unlikely to access health services when they need it because the options available are expensive and inaccessible. TAF’s approach makes it possible for children with disabilities to access essential health services where and when they need it the most. The direct involvement of community members and the parents of the children served by TAF ensures sustainability of the projects.