msafiri hears from Cosmas Langat, a young Kenyan who has been supported by AbleChildAfrica and their partner ANDY (Action Network for the Disabled) on a pioneering sports and employment project in Nairobi
Q&A with Cosmas Langat
Tell us how you got involved with ANDY?
My name is Cosmas and I am 27, from Narok, Kenya. I first heard about ANDY through a friend who was involved with the Sports for Change project. I have learnt many things; I have learnt how to play Wheelchair Basketball and how to swim. I have received entrepreneurship training and have been given the startup capital to help get my business off the ground. I have had the opportunity to be placed in an Internship at Women Challenged to Challenge, a national organisation bringing people together to build a collective voice for disabled women in Kenya.
What kind of challenges have you faced in your life?
Throughout my life, I have experienced various challenges along the way. Some of the biggest have been my mobility problems. Sometimes people take for granted the difficulties I face even just moving from one part of the city to another, or finding the money to pay for my education or securing a permanent job.
How has ANDY helped you to overcome these challenges?
When I think of sports, I think of socialising, staying fit, being healthy and travelling. These are such important elements for someone with a disability. Through ANDY and sports, I can proudly say that I have seen the real difference it has made in my life. My confidence levels have grown and this has really helped me to overcome many of my challenges.
Working with ANDY has helped me to grow my networks and share ideas with other people with disabilities. Receiving support to secure an internship has helped me secure a permanent job. I have stayed fit and healthy as a result of the sports and my skills have progressed to the next level. I have become a better person.
What does the future hold for you?
Currently I am working with people with disabilities and I see this as my future. I understand first-hand the challenges that people with disabilities struggle through and, as one of them, I am in a great position to help them tackle their issues.
What can msafiri’s readers do to get involved?
I would urge msafiri’s readers to support organisations that work towards improving the lives of people with disabilities, such as ANDY and AbleChildAfrica. They should also realise the importance of sports for people who have disabilities and support them where they can.