Wanyoike @ Rashid Centre

Kenyan sprinter lights up spirits of special kids

By Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, Jan 22, 2015

DUBAI: Students with special needs at the Rashid Centre for the Disabled have always been mesmerised by the visits of celebrities to share their charm with them.
On Wednesday, it was yet another day for many at the centre when gold-medallist paralympic and marathon blind Kenyan runner Henry Wanyoike visit along with his shadow Joseph Kibunja.
Wanyoike is goodwill ambassador of “Seeing is Believing,” an initiative of Standard Chartered Bank to tackle avoidable blindness and visual impairment.JAMIL-Henry-Rashid-5
It is a collaboration with International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and leading eye care organisations.  It raises funds for investment in eye care projects that aim to have long-term impact in areas of high need.
Talking to The Gulf Today, Wanyoike said that he was happy to meet some of the children with  disabilities and it was a matter of great admiration that some were engaged in activities only meant for mainstream people.
“As part of the ‘Seeing is believing’, I have been encouraging people to fulfil their dreams regardless of any physical challenge and spending some time with the students with the Rashid Centre proved that if you want to achieve something in your life you can do so like these students,” he said.
The runner has been practising for his upcoming challenge, the race in Dubai, and is confident of winning as well as help raise awareness.
“My participation in the Standard Chartered event ‘Dubai Marathon’, a global event in which people around the world are participating, is mainly to highlight the message the campaign has been spreading as well as to raise funds to eliminate blindness in the world,” he added.
The Kenyan runner inspired many by sharing his experience.
“The students engaged in gardening and others are very talented. The administration is offering a great service to these children by not only giving them hope but also preparing them with various skills that are extraordinary,” Wanyoike exclaimed.
Wanyoike spent time with the children in the organic garden as well as in the outdoor play area, besides touring various classrooms to talk one-on-one with the kids and motivate them.
Maryam Othman, Director General of the Rashid Centre was pleased that Henry visited and spent time with the kids.
“This is one of his many visits to the centre and he promised to be back again soon,” she said.

~ by jamilkhan on January 22, 2015.

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