Dame Evelyn drumming up support from highest mountain

Our Patron Dame Evelyn Glennie – who took on the huge challenge of scaling Mount Kilimanjaro with a team of disabled Africans reached the peak early this morning (Wednesday 1 December). Congratulations to everyone involved!

Evelyn, who is an international percussionist, literally “played” her way up the mountain with her drumsticks to raise awareness of the challenges faced by Africa’s 52 million children and young people.

Her fellow climbers – who included a visually impaired Ugandan woman, a hearing impaired Ugandan man, a disabled Ugandan sportsman and two Kenyan men with physical disabilities caused by childhood polio –took on the climb ahead of International Day of Disabled People on Friday 3rd December.

Evelyn said: “We know that rocks and stones do actually sing, they do create interesting sounds, so I took a pair of sticks because I was curious to find out what the mountain might sound like!”

“There are more than 52 million disabled children in Africa and too many are without hope. The only way we can make a sustainable difference is by including these children in Africa’s future development. I chose the challenge of climbing Kilimanjaro because I wanted to make a difference to our next generation.”

“I have good reason to recognize the importance of education and inclusion for ALL children; it empowered me to make my own unique journey in life. The disabled children supported by AbleChildAfrica desperately need inclusion. Enabling these children means enrichment, quality of life, and reduced dependency for them, their families and communities.”

It wasn’t the first time that Evelyn played “Rock” music. Earlier this year she led a project using music to teach geology to children in Cumbria by building a “lithophone” which is a xylophone make of stone.

All the climbers hope their venture will highlight what disabled people can achieve when given the opportunity and help raise money for projects working with disabled children in Africa.

Mary Ann Mhina, Executive Director of AbleChildAfrica said: “Evelyn is an inspiration to us all. 52 million disabled young people in Africa are denied their rights on a daily basis. 95% do not complete their primary education and less than 2% are employed thereafter. Yet disabled young people have the right to be independent, included and make their own choices. To learn what they want to learn and choose a career and lifestyle for themselves. We are so please that Evelyn has chosen to join us on this journey, going the extraordinary mile to help demonstrate that disabled people can achieve what they want to achieve, given the opportunities”

I have good reason to recognize the importance of education and inclusion for ALL children; it empowered me to make my own unique journey in life. The disabled children supported by AbleChildAfrica desperately need inclusion. Enabling these children means enrichment, quality of life, and reduced dependency for them, their families and communities.
Dame Evelyn Glennie
Patron

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