“At first, I was sad about my disability – I used to long for the chance to walk! But with time, I have come to accept it.”

When she was seven, Nelly developed an infection in her spine and started losing feeling in her legs. Her family were scared and did not know what to do, so they took her to church and prayed for a miracle.

When Nelly was a child, some of her neighbours assumed she was disabled because her mother was bewitched. Others kept their children away from her, leaving her with no one to play with. Nelly felt isolated and bullied, and had no confidence in herself.

Eventually, Nelly’s family sent her away to a boarding school for children with disabilities.

At home, the able-bodied children were mean to me and their parents would not let me play with them. If they were playing in a place I could not reach, I would feel sad. For me, school was good because it was somewhere I belonged. I did not feel out of place. At school, we all had different disabilities but we shared a bond.

When Nelly was a college student, she met her husband Sam. Her mother was delighted she’d found someone but Sam’s mother was shocked at Nelly’s condition – she thought Sam was crazy for marrying a disabled woman. Even some of the couple’s friends doubted Nelly was good enough for him.

Sadly, Nelly is just one of many disabled people in countries like Kenya that has experienced discrimination like this. Widespread ignorance about the causes of disability leads to communities turning their backs on disabled people. People like Nelly are often excluded from everyday life and shunned from society.

Today, Nelly lives with Sam and their daughter Bianca in Kiambu County. She is expecting their second child. After receiving support from Motivation, her confidence has started to grow.

She attended our peer training where she learnt all about her rights from other wheelchair users, as well as extra wheelchair skills and maintenance. The course motivated her to help other people in similar situations and she has now learnt how to deliver the training herself. She also had the courage to apply for a job in a call centre, where she now works in customer services.

At first, I was sad about my disability – I used to long for the chance to walk! But with time, I have come to accept it. In the future, I would like to help people in my village who are poor. I also want to help disabled people. Motivation’s peer training taught me how someone can grow in confidence with my help. I’d like to own and manage a farm, and travel all over the world. Money is the issue – not my mobility! I hope that my children can do whatever they want to do with their lives, and follow their dreams.

Support our Ready, Willing and Able appeal today

When you give to our Ready, Willing and Able appeal, you are helping us equip people like Nelly with the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to take control of their lives.

Your donation could fund peer training like the course Nelly attended. It could help us work with communities to challenge discrimination and change attitudes. It will help us ensure that disabled people can be included in society and work.

You can make double the difference to people like Nelly. Give before 3rd March 2018 and the UK Government will match your donation pound for pound.

Appeal update

Our Ready, Willing and Able appeal finished on the 3rd March 2018 and raised over £240,000. This funding will be doubled by the UK Government.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated, making this appeal an incredible success.

You can still make a donation to Motivation. Your gift will be spent wherever it will have the greatest impact across our projects.