“It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head,all the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”- Patrick Rothfuss
ANDY’s beneficiaries have great positive stories to tell of their journeys while involved in the projects, they have equally compelling stories to tell once they are through with their programs and can now self sustain themselves through life.
Jack Ometho Opiyo
Jack is physically handicapped and he plays Wheelchair Basketball for the ANDY team. He learnt about the Sports for Health program from a friend who referred him to ANDY to view the various programs available for youth and especially the work placement program. ‘ When I joined the sports program and specifically wheelchair basketball, I made friends quite easily, my time keeping skills and fitness levels have increased, every time I leave the sessions my mind and body are at rest. I have also participated in the entrepreneurship trainings and learnt on curriculum vitae development. Through the Work Place program, I secured an internship within the government at the Office of the Director of the Public Prosecution, and later was employed permanently. I am working in the accounts department, I enjoy my job and I apply some of the skills I learnt at the trainings”
Emma Wambui Mbugua
Emma (pictured) is a 33 year old, trained in counseling, she is part of the swimming team and among the visually impaired participants, and she has been involved in the program since April 2011. Emma had this to say about the sporting program.
“Since I joined the Sports for Health project, I have become a changed person, I have socialized a lot, met many people and my physical fitness has greatly improved. I lost my
sight in 2008, and between 2008 and 2009 I was being rehabilitated and habilitated to the environment hence I was not able to participate in social activities. In 2010 I felt ready to now meet the world but I was not able to because I did not know of programs which I could be involved in, that is why I am very grateful when I realised that in ANDY’s project I could be involved in it. My reason for joining swimming as opposed to the other sports is that swimming can be a life skill. With my lack of vision, it is one of the few skills which I can defend myself against enemies with, in this case being floods or large masses of water, it is also a skill in which I don’t necessarily need my sight. I hope to continue with swimming even if the project cycle comes to an end as I believe, by the end of the project I will be perfect in it ’ Emma is currently a nominated Member of the County Assembly in Nakuru to represent special interest groups. Her main mission is to draft motions which will be tabled at the Nakuru County Assembly with the aim of penalizing and jailing people who use demeaning words to refer to People with Disabilities (PWDs).
Peninah Mwende Nyolo
Peninah Mwende Nyolo is a 25 year old lady who is physically handicapped; she plays table tennis. Peninah has benefited from the two aspects of the access to work component, she has received support as an intern at Binti Salon and consequently received start up capital to start her own business of selling beauty products.
“I have always had interest in beauty since when I was a small girl; hence it was obvious that I would venture into beauty as an adult. I am grateful to ANDY for granting me the opportunity to grow my dream”
Peninah joined the sorts for health project in 2012, she was introduced to the project by a friend who explained to her the benefits of being involved in the project; He told her of the sports and access to work components of the project and Peninah was automatically interested.
“I joined sports so as to interact and make new friends, through participating in sports, I have realized I am very fit and can stand for longer periods of time as opposed to when I was not participating in sports. I have gained a lot from ANDY by receiving start up capital and going through the entrepreneurship training. I have had interest in sports since high school hence it is not a new interest for me. I have also had an opportunity to travel out of town and participate in tournaments and this has brought me new aspects of life. During the entrepreneurship training I learnt on ways of managing by business and this has been very key for me”
“ Due to the aspect of joining the sports project, I am now able to stand for a longer time and hence serve up to 10 clients a day in the salon, before I joined the sports project I was always in need to sit down after a short stint standing. I work very well with my colleagues at work and I believe this is a result of the way I interact with fellow team members”
“In future I would like to start my own company business and employ many employees; I would like to start my own company with beauty products. I sell my products within the salon hence I save on costs on rent and personnel at the moment as I organize my finances for future business. I have been working in business for the past one year.
‘Being born with Spina Bifida is what resulted to my disability, I am physically disabled but this has never weighed me down in seeking opportunities in which I can grow and become successful in life. I am 26 years old and currently I am interning at Christian Blind Mission (CBM) an international humanitarian organization, I am part of the team working in Central Africa, the countries we cover are Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. I owe most of my success to ANDY. Life has not been easy for me, I am born in a family of four siblings and I am the only one with a disability. While in school, I faced many incidences of discrimination, as my mother enrolled me in an integrated day school, however the teachers could not understand why I could not make it to school on time, hence I was always being punished for coming in late. My mother later transferred me to a boarding school and since then, my performance improved; I later joined university and acquired a degree in Education. After graduation I started looking for jobs but I was not so lucky, it was at this point that a friend informed me about ANDY and the various programs it had, I was particularly interested in joining sports as I was stressed and thought sports would relax my mind. I joined wheelchair basketball in 2011 and while in the project I was extended opportunities such as trainings, mock interviews and motivational talks. They also went a step further and secured for me an internship at Women Challenged to Challenge. This was a breath of fresh air for me as now I got some hope and stint in the job market. I realized that some aspects of the training which the coaches were instilling in us, I was applying them at work; my fitness levels increased hence I was more active and could walk for longer distances; it was also easier for me to socialize and interact with different types of people at the work place, I had learnt to interact with all types of people during trainings; I was more disciplined in keeping time and prioritizing what is important and urgent both as a team leader and as an individual, these are traits I learnt during the sporting sessions and apply them at my place of work everyday. I am truly grateful to ANDY for providing me a foundation through which I have grown to the level I am at the moment.
“I started my business by selling fish balls within the estate; however my dream has always been to sell cereals; at the moment I am selling groceries around Kinoo area. I was born with club feet, 30 years ago, I have eight siblings and I am the second born. My mother is also disabled, and when she gave birth to me and realized I was disabled she hid me from the public, she did not want the neighbors to see me, and consequently she did not take me to school. I started school when I was ten years and this was as a result of my aunt who interceded for me. All though I was crawling and this was the excuse my mother was using for not taking me to school; due to crawling I had a lot of injuries which would take a long time to heal. As a result of not going to school while others were in school I faced a lot of self stigma, to date I am still recovering from it.. My aunt later took me to my grandmother’s and that is where I started attending school from. I used to perform very well, however I dropped off when I was 18 years. I came to know of the sports project when I saw a poster advertising the project at Association of Persons with Disabilities in Kenya (APDK), I called the number which was posted there and got information about the project.
I later joined the swimming team, my life before the project was quite desperate as I had no stable source of income however after joining the project I was able to acquire some start up capital for my business. I have been able to know more about what business entails through the trainings; the sports training sessions have assisted me to be physically fit and I have also learnt a new sport; when I joined I had never swam before and it was my first time to get into a swimming pool but now I am able to swim and I am now learning how to swim at the deep end. During my initial days at the project I was quite shy and was not able to socialize with my fellow team mates, this is because of the way I was socialized, however as a result of continuously attending the trainings I am able to interact more with my team mates, share business ideas and tips on how to improve my businesses. When I attend sports and come back to my business my mind is normally relaxed and refreshed, I also come with the zeal to work harder especially if I had trained hard during the sessions. My body is also more flexible and I am able to perform duties with more agility and I do not tire as easily as I used to. I occasionally approach youth with disabilities and inform them about the sports project as I know how beneficial it is to join.
Nelson Macharia is a 24 years old jovial young man. At first glance you will not tell he has a disability until you speak to him then he respond by sign back to you “I am deaf”. Nelson first came into contact with Action Network for the Disabled in August 2011 through the sports program. When asked of the gains within the program, Nelson states “I have learnt a lot in terms of skills in deaf volleyball mainly tactics to use when playing the sport, how to win against your opponent too. I have gained a lot of self confidence due to the number of friendly matches and competitions we have played. I also learnt the value of teamwork.” He has also attended the entrepreneurship trainings and learnt skills including on how to draft business plans and curriculum vitae, this will assist him in securing employment in an I.T firm. Currently Nelson is an I.T. student and states that education is a continuous process and hence he is always ready to learn.