I have here the 2018 Isiolo Declaration. We have appended our signatures; National County Government, Developmental Partners, Civil Society Organizations and the Private Sector. After this event today we want to take with us, all of us, to see how we can enforce it.

Hon. Eugene Wamalwa - Cabinet Secretary Devolution and ASAL during The 7th Edition of The Desert Wheel Race 2018 in Isiolo County.

"The disability community in Kenya will find no greater advocate nor any organization that will work as hard on their behalf as NONDO. Not only does NONDO implement an award-winning advocacy program in the countries' poorest Nomadic regions but also with such passion and dedication NONDO`s Staff work with other organizations; both local and international, government officials, hundreds of volunteers and members of the disability community to advocate for the rights, inclusion and participation of persons with disability in all spheres of life".

Milcah Nanok - Beneficiary of NONDO`s Scholarship Program

Ours has been a story of hope. We have challenged PWDs from the region to always remain hopeful and be motivated. For many of us NONDO‘s mission is a lifestyle – far more commitment than an 8h hour job, because the reward is always better in terms of making a difference in the lives of others. When you see change – real change in someone’s eyes – it touches you forever and ever.

Harun Maalim Hassan - NONDO CEO

I am Caroline and this is my story.

I was born with a medical condition called Spinal Bifida. My dad on realizing my disability got separated from my mum. He said my condition is a curse.

Sadly, again when I was still a baby, I lost my mum. I was left under the care of my grandparents. My aging grandparents couldn’t understand the condition that leads to my disability. Later through the advice of relatives and their close friends, they took me to Kijabe Hospital for corrective surgery. After spending one year in the hospital, the surgery was not successful. According to the doctors it was too late to perform any corrective surgeries. All my life I have only known a wheelchair. Despite so much stigma and labeling surrounding my wheelchair lifestyle, I was lucky to have gotten an opportunity of joining a school. I joined Dagoretti Special School for my primary Education, and later on Joytown Sec School for the Physically Handicapped for my high school.

Later in life, I developed a passion for sign language. I had friends who are deaf, and we are close, and this made me learn this language. I wanted to make stories and have fun with them. I, therefore, went to Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE) for some courses on KSL. Also, together with some other close friends including NONDO’s CEO Mr. Hassan, I am a certified Motivation UK Peer Trainer where sometimes I visit National Spinal Injury Hospital and Kenyatta National Hospital to talk to and encourage patients who sustained life-changing injuries or conditions - it doesn’t matter how many times life knocks us down, we should instead turn trials of life into opportunities. I am a sporting lady and currently, I am the captain of the National Wheelchair Basketball Team. I Race in the standard chartered marathon, wheelchair category, and so far, won five times in a row.

Being a woman with a disability is not a walk in the park I have faced countless discrimination and rejections, but I thank God for the far He has brought me. My grandmother used to tell me ‘my daughter know that you are very beautiful’ those words kept me going and raised my self-esteem. I participated in the 1st edition of NONDO’s The Desert Fashion Gala 2017 in Kajiado County. It was my first time to participate in such an event. Even though that year, I have not made to the top three I was inspired and got huge confidences of appearing in front of a massive audience. I modeled with some amazing, beautiful and intelligent fellow girls with disabilities. And last year (2nd edition, 2018) I was crowned the winner. The event happened in a beautiful hotel in Isiolo County called Sarova Shaba Game Lodge- under a clear sky. I got an opportunity of walking down the ‘aisle’ with some cabinet secretaries, Governors and scores of other leaders -I only met before in TVs and newspapers. It was fun!

I must appreciate NONDO for organizing such a unique event and for bringing different communities and cultures to come together; share stories and bring out the beauty, ability, and uniqueness of women and girls with disabilities.

The fashion show prize money together with the prize money from the standard chartered marathon I’m planning to buy a car. In Kenya, public transport is not only difficult but a nightmare for millions of us with disabilities especially wheelchair users. A car is not a luxury for me but a necessity. With now my title as Ambassador of The Desert Wheel Race, I will use the Crown as an opportunity of advocating for access to health care services, family life and reproductive health for women and girls with disabilities.

I am currently dating the love of my life and soon we will be marrying. 

Caroline (Spinal Bifida)