Eldoret Marathon Embraces Inclusivity In Climate Action

The Eldoret City Marathon organising committee, working closely with the sponsors, particularly the Gulf Royal, has included people with disabilities in their efforts to fight climate change in line with their theme, Climate Action.

A special needs student at Eldoret Special School present an item they made to the Eldoret Marathon Director Moses Tanui (Right). Photo by Ekuwam Sylvester.

The team initiated a tree planting campaign at the Eldoret Special School for the Intellectually Impaired on Friday as a way to educate them about ways of combating climate change.

Speaking during the event, Eldoret City Marathon Director Mr. Moses Tanui lauded the sponsors for taking part in the noble initiative of tree planting for climate action as he reiterated the need to involve the Eldoret Special School for the Intellectually Impaired in greening the environment to ensure a clean atmosphere.

The director was impressed by the abilities demonstrated by the learners with multiple disabilities through the items they could make, like beadwork, weaving baskets, tailoring, and many others.

He added that there was need for the public and other stakeholders to recognise and value the abilities of the disabled learners and come in to help them in terms of learning resources and other needs like food, clothing, and many more.

The director commended the school administration and assured them that the marathon and working together with other partners will aid in providing learning resources and other requirements to facilitate a better learning environment.

‘Our theme is climate action, and this is what we are doing in a special school. We also have special hearts in the marathon that will continue supporting the school. We have seen that these special people need special attention, and this is what we are doing today as we plant trees to set a good example as Eldoret City Marathon,’ said Mr. Tanui.

‘We will continue to support the special learners in acquiring the materials required for them since their learning is mainly practical and requires a lot of support for materials,’ he added.

The marathon team and partners gifted the school with food items and learning materials.

In her remarks, School Board Chair Sophia Gachanja, who is a nurse at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), which partnered with the school in terms of giving the children medical attention, termed the initiative a noble course of making the environment clean.

‘This is something unique because many people in this area of Uasin Gishu and outside know little about this special school, with students with multiple disabilities-not one, not two-they don’t talk, they don’t walk, and some have many other issues which are so difficult to deal with,’ she explained.

On his part, the Eldoret Special School for the Intellectually Impaired Head Teacher, Mr. David Yegon, acknowledged the initiative, which involved the learners in planting trees, upon which, after school, they will continue planting them at home for the benefit of future generations.

‘Today they planted trees, and they will grow; no one will know it was planted by a child with a disability. The same will also be done at home. We are doing this in order to embrace the government policy of planting trees every year,’ he said.

He called on continued collaboration with partners to help the children grow and develop survival skills so that they can be independent when they finish school.

He further hinted that the community tends to neglect such people with disabilities, leaving them helpless and poor.

‘You are our partners; these children need us in order to develop; the moment we forget them, we are doing something against them. We invite you to work together with us to do something more, so that the world may know that despite their condition, disability is not inability,’ added Yegon.

Source: Kenya News Agency