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Anne Wafula-Strike: changing attitudes towards disability [21 Stories]

Posted on: Thursday, May 11th, 2017

Anne Wafula-Strike, CBM Champion and Paralympic wheelchair racer, grew up in Kenya. Aged two, she contracted polio, which left her unable to walk.

Anne Wafula-Strike CBM Champion and Paralympic wheelchair racer

“When I was growing up in Kenya, my parents were told to feed me poison, abandon me and leave me to die. Our neighbours were afraid that my “curse”, in fact paralysis caused by polio, would spread to others. So our family had to flee the village. Many things have improved since then, but it saddens me that families are still going through the same thing now. There is still such prejudice, such lack of knowledge and education; even now, people believe that having a disabled child is a curse.

As a Christian, I believe we all have a responsibility to reach out to people who need our help, so I’m proud to be part of the CBM family. CBM provides practical support that enables people with disabilities to overcome the barriers they face and fulfil their potential. But crucially we also work to change attitudes.

We need to show families across the world that children with disabilities are not a curse or a liability that they can grow up to be mothers, teachers, business owners or Paralympians. That is the most important story to tell.”