This week as we finish our school year with our usual assemblies and gatherings

after what has been a huge and almost indescribable year, we will spend time reflecting not just upon our own experiences but also acknowledge and celebrate the strengths of others in our global community. This week we mark two significant world observances, International Human Rights Day and the International Day for People with Disabilities.

One of the central promises of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is to leave no one behind and disability inclusion is essential to this goal. People living with disabilities are one of the most excluded groups in society and have been among the hardest hit during the global crisis of COVID-19. The commitment to realising the rights of persons with disabilities is not only a matter of justice; it is an investment in a common future that is well understood by the staff, families and friends at the Mary Rice Centre. Throughout this year they have worked harder than ever to make sure their children have not been left behind, forgotten, isolated or alone. At the beginning of the outbreak, when schools closed everywhere, they delivered food and medical supplies into the homes of their families who were isolated in Kibera, Southlands and Lang’ata. Soon they re-opened on a reduced capacity to enable many of the children with special needs to access physical therapies, exercises and health checks. They have worked tirelessly in raising money and supplies from organisations in Nairobi, Europe and Australia and always remained positive and hope filled, teaching us all how to stay strong throughout the challenges of this year.

 

"In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help each other and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive." – Acts 20:35

 

As we approach Christmas and our Summer holiday season it is understandable that our thoughts turn to our families and close friends, some of whom we may or may not be able to be reunited with just yet. Images of the nativity, the Holy family together in humble surrounds remind us more than ever of the importance of our love for one another, and the strength we gain and give to each other.  The Christmas message of love and the giving and receiving of love is one which our friends at the Mary Rice Centre have given us a true example of all year. No doubt Bro Gerald and the team will once again be calling out all stops to ensure their children and families are not forgotten but included in the parties, fun activities and food of this festive season and it is their genuine love for these most marginalised of people that bring to all of us the true meaning of Christmas.