#PedalFforHealth = Pedal for dignity and inclusion

This weekend, as I was cooling my aching body after a bumpy 30km practice bicycle ride I was wondering, WHAT EXACTLY AM I RIDING FOR?  What happens once we achieve the targets of the campaign?

 Since May 2021, I, some members of L’Arche Kenya and our friends have been engaged in a campaign to raise funds and create awareness on issues pertaining to disabilities.  The campaign will culminate in mid-September 2021. 

We target to raise Kes.4,000,000/-.  The funds will be used in

  • Medication for use by people living with disabilities.
  • Accessibility and mobility by introducing ramps to vehicles for easier access by people on wheelchair and disability inclusive amenities in washrooms.
  • Equipping a therapy fitness centre for use by both adults and children with disabilities.

This weekend, as I was cooling my aching body after a bumpy 30km practice bicycle ride I was wondering, WHAT EXACTLY AM I RIDING FOR?  What happens once we achieve the targets of the campaign?

It dawned on me that the greater goal of the campaign is inclusion and dignity.  Very important keywords in disability circles.  It hit me how many times in the course of my job I have taken away someone’s dignity as I supported them to overcome challenges (exclusion) posed by disability.  How many times I have watched people with disabilities fail to participate in certain activities because a minor adjustment necessary to improve access has been overlooked.

I have …

  • Lifted people physically to help them board or disembark from vehicles in a manner that put me within their personal space. Maybe they didn’t like it but what choice did they have?
  • Discussed with potential supporters, intimate details about medical needs of other people. All the while I never mentioned mine and found more private ways to sort them out. Maybe the person wished they had the means to sort theirs without everyone in the neighbourhood or church hearing about it. 
  • Watched helplessly several times how people with disabilities were unable to access fitness centres and gyms because they had no confidence to use the equipment. Sometimes the people in charge of the equipment (and rightly so) were not sure that the persons with disability could use the equipment safely.
  • Been alled upon numerous times to support people use non inclusive facilities like toilets and showers. The only thing that stood between their privacy and dignity was a bar of stainless steel properly placed to support the person. The price paid by those persons is having their private spaces encroached into in the name of support.

Many other things like … didn’t go right because I didn’t act.

These thoughts have made me feel more energized to continue the pedalling.  I invite you, my friends, to the privilege of doing our small part in correcting this anomaly.  I want to make it a beginning and hopefully the small step will create a spiral of other actions towards making our environment more supportive for the  dignity and inclusion of everyone.  Maybe in the future I will have far less to feel guilty about.

You can join by sending a contribution to 

  • Mpesa Paybill 64 64 57 account stretching 2021.
  • Sharing widely in your networks about the campaign and inviting your friends to support the campaign as above.

Peter’s Diary is a collection of articles describing L’Arche Kenya from the eyes of an assistant. All the articles are real and factual though they relate to different members of the community.


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