Monday, 30 April 2012
LAUNCH OF THE FRIENDS CLUB
Story by Namatsi Lukoye
There is still general lack of awareness about cerebral palsy and the stigma it creates to not only the family but to the community at large. The launch therefore, provided an opportunity to jointly define the condition; the hardships experienced; to celebrate friends who have been with the society and create new relationships.
Despite the heavy rains many guests had arrived by 5.30pm, the programme started on time. Two persons affected by the CP condition Anthony Ng’ang’a (25) and Brian Simiyu (16) talked about their experiences with cerebral palsy, and how despite this condition they arestriving to accomplish their dreams the audience was literally moved to tears. Ng’ang’a who is now a journalist working on a TV show that would highlight the lives of children living with Cerebral Palsy and Brian who is in form two in a regular high school had stories that only shone hope.
"Their lives shine the flame found in ability in inabilities."
Mary Mukkanda, a parent, gave the parents side of the story of the joy and beauty they had found in sharing their lives with their little queen, Immaculate Mukkanda.
In her opening speech, Mr. Jardine Mwangeka, the Chief Executive Officer, said her vision for Kenya is “a world of love and acceptance for everyone especially those with disabilities”. She emphasized that the only way to fight stigma was to get more friends with a common goal on board to help us spread awareness. She reiterated the CPSK vision of ensuring that persons afflicted by cerebral palsy in Kenya are rehabilitated to enable them realize their full potential and how everyone in CPSK has a role to play towards achieving this vision. She went on to state the mission of the society which include; the provision of therapy; promotion of awareness and advocacy of appropriate measures to improve the welfare of persons afflicted by cerebral palsy in Kenya and the challenges the society has faced which was done by the adoption of the green ribbon for CP awareness.
Challenges highlighted for the society include: Lack of a enough funds to cover the therapy of the children, where she encouraged the friends to sponsor a child or children; lack of a transport which makes it hard for the therapists to get to children; lack of a database hence the need of a base-line survey which would help the organization to accomplish its mission.
Among achievements the launch brought was getting a friend Mr. Maurice Wambua who is interested in adopting 5 children for therapy, getting more people becoming members, raising some funds through the sale of t-shirts and wrist bands.