19-10-2019 by Freddie del Curatolo
If there is one category of disabled people who are even more disadvantaged than being born in troubled regions of Africa and living in absolute poverty, it is that of the nomadic tribes of northern Kenya.
Always accustomed to moving periodically from area to area, in search of water and food for themselves and their livestock, having to do so in conditions of physical disabilities but also mental is certainly an additional obstacle that life poses.
For this reason in County Isiolo was born the association "NONDO" (Northern Nomadic Disable Organisation) that since 2010 takes care of the last of these semi-arid lands often undermined by ethnic conflicts.
The annual flagship event of the association, to raise awareness and international public opinion and raise funds for various activities between education, health and research, is the Desert Wheel Race, a wheelchair race of 20 kilometers through routes usually beaten by herds, camels and people in constant motion.
This year, the biggest sports competition for disabled people in Africa was held on October 12th and among the official partners there was also the Italian tour operator Afreeca Eclectic, which among its safari professionals is also specialized in excursions throughout East Africa for disabled people.
This year there were representatives of the 12 national counties that have to do with nomadism and the start was given by the Governor of Isiolo, the County where it all began with NONDO.
Behind the great meaning and emotion of the participants that is added to the engaging purity of a population that has always lived between hope and fatalism, there was also the sense of sport, a moment of fundamental aggregation for the communities.
In the two days preceding the Desert Wheel Race in Isiolo, a conference was held in which accessible tourism and various problems for disabled people in Kenya were highlighted and which Afreeca Eclectic, while on the evening of Friday 11 October another particularly exciting event was held, the Desert Fashion Gala, in which women with various disabilities paraded in traditional clothes showing themselves to the public without fear in a region where diversity is still a taboo and the condition of women has been receiving consideration for a few years.
"It was exciting, as well as a pride, to have participated in this event - says Alberto Michieli of Afreeca Eclectic - the evening of the Fashion Show has shown that categories once discarded or kept on the sidelines can have a role and their dignity even in the poor regions of this country and the desire to prove it starts from themselves.
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