What is the discrimination? Second Amnesty International, "Discrimination occurs when a person is unable to enjoy their human rights or other legal rights on an equal basis with others due to an unjustified distinction made in politics, law or treatment." Discrimination is not always evident, it is often hidden in the very norms of society. A world that does not take into account the needs of minorities is itself a world that discriminates.

An estimated 1 billion people suffer from some form of disability. This condition can lead to isolation, given the numerous difficulties that society places in front of people with disabilities. Social and economic barriers, stigmatization and prejudice are forms of discrimination that prevent these people from living a full and dignified life. Shiru's story demonstrates the growing need for healthcare and medical treatment accessible to all.

The story of Shiru, between courage and bad luck

Shiru has incredible energy. She smiles constantly and sees the glass always half full. Every day she thinks about how to make life better for herself and for her son. Shiru does not feel disability as a limitation and always manages to find solutions to better live in a world that rarely helps her and her people in her condition.

Shiru worked in a photography studio in Ngong. Here he also ran a money transfer app. After doing it for 4 years she decided to change jobs: he wanted to offer his son a better life. For this reason she decided to move to Saudi Arabia to be a domestic worker. Her arrival in the country was a culture shock. Not knowing the customs and the language, it was difficult to integrate. However the family she worked with was an English-speaking host family and were very friendly with her. She worked there for 3 months. Upon her arrival, however, she Shiru had problems with other women who worked in the house. She did not understand the reason for this dislike, but she did not care: she thought only of her son and her work.

Shiru was not born with a disability, she had an accident. While she was working, she fell from a building, breaking her legs and damaging her spine. She was rushed to the hospital and underwent several surgeries. Her employer sought out blood donors for her transfusions and tried to help her as much as possible. Shiru was in the hospital for a year, unable to move. Her employer had her transferred to a private health facility, as he was convinced that she Shiru would start walking again. She started slowly, trying to sit up and move her torso. She eventually managed to stand up and walk using crutches. All the doctors were flabbergasted because they were sure she would never walk again.

The return to Kenya and the new accident

discrimination 2022 2Once able to walk, Shiru returned to Kenya. Shiru's contract was initially for 2 years and despite not having completed it due to the accident, the employer decided to continue paying her. She shiru spent this money looking after her and a part of her invested it to open a small kiosk where she sold milk, cereals and other products. Her business started to grow and she was doing pretty well on her own.

Unfortunately for Shiru, while washing clothes, she stepped on a barbed wire that was on the ground, injuring her weaker leg. At the hospital she told her that she has developed an infection and that she should have three injections a day. She was unable to walk as before and for this reason she went home to her sisters. Shiru had made a lot of progress, but yet another accident forced her to close her business.

A community health volunteer approached Shiru to understand her story and understand how to help her. This is how Shiru got to know World Friends. She was sent to Ruaraka Uhai Neema Hospital to get a clear idea of ​​her state of health. The orthopedic doctor suggested special boots to correct some of her leg problems. Shiru has not previously undergone corrective surgery to correct the setting of her foot. She suffered bone damage and to relieve the pressure on her legs she needed these boots.

Unfortunately Shiru is unable to buy the boots, as they are very expensive. World Friends has decided to donate them to her and continue to support her by providing physiotherapy to Ngong Referral Hospital. She currently she has done 3 sessions and is already experiencing the first advances. Shiru is now able to walk with only one crutch - a big step forward for her. Her goal is to go back to work, free and without crutches.

Beyond disability, beyond discrimination

Shiru is just one of many people around the world who are fortunate enough to have support for her disability and receive treatment. However, she is not like that for everyone. Medical care is not free all over the world, and the concentration of people with disabilities is predominantly in developing countries. The inaccessibility of hospitals, due to distances or economic barriers, contributes to those less obvious discrimination that people with disabilities suffer every day. A common commitment is needed so that these discriminations, these barriers for people with disabilities are removed. On the Day against Discrimination, World Friends recognizes the limitations of health systems and renews its commitment to contribute to a more inclusive society, capable of overcoming inequalities and discrimination.

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