Leaving no one behind, social inclusion for persons with disability.
I have grown up with a sister who is close to 40 years of age, she barely goes out of the gate except for Church occasionally because of her strong believe that God will one day heal her. Born a ''normal'' beautiful baby girl to my parents, our very first born Didi was just like that until 3 months old when she started getting complications from a polio injection that took a toll on her health. She became physical and mentally impaired to date.
My family was privileged and educated enough to not make these physiological and physical setback come between her and her education. She managed to attend school until a certain stage since mental growth had stopped too. Currently Didi counts 1-100, she writes and draws to her capacity, she helps around with house hold chores and she is the most beautiful jovial person you will come across.
My sister is not the only person with these disabilities, she is not the only physically or mentally impaired person. Billions of people with physical, cognitive or psychological disabilities struggle to access basic services required to perform daily functions. Going to an office building or mall where there is no lift but stair cases, taking a taxi or a bus but their is no slide for their wheel chairs become daily frustrations.
Unfortunately, all these infrastructure and social rules in society are constructed to fit the needs of ''normal'' persons without any physical, psychological, mobility, hearing or cognitive impairments. This leaves out all others as they get confined into a home with zero social interactions with persons other than their family members.
The recently concluded Malengo Hot Pink Fashion show 3rd edition is a show that these persons with disability yarn for all year long. Its about the exciting preparation, the fittings with the designers making outfits tailored to fit them perfectly but above all its the social inclusion.
Malengo Foundation from what i have witnessed has started creating awareness of these biases that go unnoticed because society does it unknowingly not putting into consideration persons that different. Two years in a row i have had the privilege to take part in the event. Walking down that runway behind the models, the smiles i see backstage, the interaction that goes on between both persons with disability and without. The exchange of contacts, in-depth discussions, sharing ideas ...And i would say every year it gives me pride to see Elijah McQuinn lighten up the faces of all our fellow citizens as they were red carpet VIPs.