On March 30 2019, Mathare Social Justice Centre (MSJC), together with German Doctors/ Baraka Medical Centre, organized a disability justice awareness event in Mathare. This event was anchored in the ongoing disability justice campaign at MSJC, which is coordinated by John Ngugi, popularly known as “Uncle Jonte.”
The goal of the event, which was held at the Shantit Carwash in Bondeni, was to create awareness and compassion about the various disabilities in Mathare, and come together towards mobilizing for a broader campaign for disability justice in the area. To these ends, we were happy to partner with German Doctors because of the longstanding health care work they do in Mathare for all peoples, and, more specifically, the services, such as the physiotherapy, nutrition assistance and counseling, they provide for people in the area with disabilities.
This event was not intended to be formal, but a fun event to celebrate each other’s spirits, and come together to see how we could lend a hand to people with disabilities in Mathare. Because of this, we had various local artists who came to entertain the crowd of over a hundred people of all abilities. These were popular Mathare artists such as Danito, and dancers such as MSJC kids. Our popular MC, Edwin from Ghetto Foundation, entertained the crowd with his performance and dance competition, while passing on the message of respect, love and solidarity for people with disabilities.
Dr Silvia Schubert, Annah Mueni, Carol and Joseph from German Doctors were in attendance, and brought with them sodas and water that they had got donated from Coca Cola. We also had representatives from the Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK), and this was Mathenge.
In the community dialogue on disability we held in 2018, we learned that there are an estimated 300 persons living with different disabilities in Mathare. After this awareness event, we are now going to embark on a participatory action research project to try and understand the many issues that people with disabilities are facing in Mathare. We hope you will join us in this endeavor, which, ultimately, hopes to better the lives of people with disabilities in this area.
The laughter, dancing and information shared during the disability justice awareness event, leads us to conclude that it was very impactful. We say a big thank you to all those who volunteered their time and services, and a special thanks to German Doctors. See some pictures below from this event.