Story of the Founder
Mr. Harun was born in 1978; in a far off and remote place, hot enough to scald soft feet of the school going children in Dandu location of Mandera County. From a young age, he was a gifted child and this gave hope to his society that one day he would excel and pull them from laurels of poverty.
He did not disappoint. He completed his primary education at Mandera Town Primary school where he emerged top of his class and proceeded to pursue his secondary education at Mandera Secondary School under the support of Starehe Centre. His exemplary performance continued even in high school and he became second best in his class and got admitted to Kenyatta University where he pursued Bachelor degree in Environmental Studies.
While at the University, a sense of curiosity and drive were wired in him and his leadership skills were sharpened. This saw him serve as a Vice Chair of the Muslim Association as well as the Secretary General of the then vibrant Northern Province University Students Association (NEPUSA).
This saw him brush shoulders with great leaders such President Uhuru Kenyatta as well as His Deputy Ruto. He attended conferences and workshops and spoke strongly about the challenges bedeviling his religion especially in education.
“Hassan, we have tried our best, but the severity of your spinal injury means you will never walk again,”
Twist of Events
After being awarded a degree, he was lucky to get a job early. Like any other ambitious young man, he contested for a parliamentary seat with an aim of serving his community. Therefore, he submitted his interest at ‘Clan’s electoral college.’ It was on 23rd March 2007, when he was involved in an accident that changed his life forever.
He ended up in Nairobi Hospital. He describes the situation as helpless and crestfallen. “Hassan, we have tried our best, but the severity of your spinal injury means you will never walk again,” the doctor told him. He was later on transferred to National Spinal Injury Hospital where he stayed there for a year. Indeed, it was a turning point. The world crashed, eerily unleashing a feeling of life that had reached its vanishing point. “I was dejected, hopeless and angry. I just wanted to die. My family too was shaken to the core,’’ Harun remembers.
Disability Shaped his Career
In every dark situation, there is always a spark of hope. His spark was lit by his family, friends as well as community of persons with disabilities. These three pillars encouraged him to be resilient and redefine his path; something he did.
Three years down the line, he started wheeling into the future. He became engrossed in reading on disability issues. This process served as a therapy for him, because it shifted the focus from him to something bigger – a greater purpose. He started dropping his profession as a public administrator, and immersed himself into the world of disability movement and understanding disability lifestyle.