EKTG Board & Trustees Seasonal Greetings
The EKTG Main Board and EKTG Trustees would like to send you the Season's Greetings and wish you a Happy New Year. Our collaborators come from so many parts of the World. Many of you have different ways of celebrating the end of the Year and we wish you every happiness in your celebration.
The next series of EKTG Short Courses is starting on January 17th, 2024. Details are covered at EKTG Courses: Legal and Ethical Aspects of Technology - a Unique Group of Free Courses.
The EKTG Main Board and EKTG Trustees are most grateful to everybody who helps us to achieve our objectives. We are especially grateful to those of you who helped at the recent special event on November 30th when the new Lord Mayor, Michael Mainelli, invited us to join him at The Mansion House. Professor Mainelli may be the first Lord Mayor in recent years to be a Professor. He studied his Phd under Professor Steve Smithson at LSE. More recently he has been involved with a small UKRI Project through LSE with Professor Smithson and Maggie Ellis, EKTG Main Board Members.
The Lord Mayor welcomed everybody to the City of London Mansion House and later shook hands and talked with everybody about their work and especially about the collaboration with EKTG. Many Guests were also able to exchange ideas and information, including proposals for the benefit of EKTG. These included mention of a helpful donation for our Registered Charity Funds.
We were especially delighted that two of our International Ambassadors could join us for the occasion: Professor Miki Hasagawa, International Ambassador from Tokyo and his wife Sachiko, Alison Lentz, International Ambassador from the UK. Ann Williams, EKTG Main Board Member, Shelagh Morris, EKTG Main Board Member, and Professor Steve Smithson, EKTG Main Board Member made major contributions. We had expected to be joined by Rafael De Andres Medina, International Ambassador from Spain but his travel was delayed and he did not arrive in London until the evening. His slides were very ably presented by Professor Steve Smithson at the Event. There was a short debate with the Guests about the various presentations.
Summaries of each part of the event were made by Ann Williams, Shelagh Morris, and Steve Smithson who also thanked the Speakers and the Lord Mayor for the excellent opportunity he had provided so early in his term of office.
Since November 30th we have received various excellent suggestions for further collaboration.
A note from EKTG member, Ai Lian Lim, EKTG International Ambassador USA, about her recent visit to Kenya
Arriving at Heathrow I waited with nervousness but excitement also.
Following a turbulent few years I was meeting a group of strangers to go to Kenya to do - I knew not what! Fortunately from the moment we landed at Nairobi this became the most life-affirming, humbling, exhausting but also energising 10 days.
Meeting Pastor Davis and his wife Ruth at the airport, we were wrapped in their care, their positivity and their passion to break down the discrimination against disability and improve the quality of life for those with disabilities and their families and communities.
I joined the organisation called “Through the roof” from August 15th to August 25th in Eburgon, Kenya. Shaun Burrows was our team leader, Misty, Helen and I the therapists plus Andy, our technician, who made all adjustments needed for our clients. As all wheelchairs were donated by NHS we had no control over selecting them. So we had to adapt. For example, we made a seat to be put into a wheelchair or a platform over a walker. We could get thick foams to make inserts as our basic seating. Andy and his team had changed all tyres to be solid tyres, all wheelchairs had seat belts and footrests before being shipped to Kenya.
We worked as a team but we soon became a much bigger team with the wonderful willingness of the volunteers from Pastor Davis and his church, his family and the surrounding communities. They became our interpreters, our technician helpers, our wheelchair organisers, our cooks and our friends.
Although not far from Nairobi, Eburgon is in so many ways a world away. It is a very poor town where families support themselves by working the land, Sadly this year the maize crop had failed due to the drought and already there was anxiety about food for next year.
Sunday fell in the middle of our stay and what a treat that was: for us to be involved felt very special. So different from our church at home. We danced and we sang and were very lucky to have a special dance from a few men from the Masai Mara who travelled far to bring members of their community hoping for our help.
Other days we worked for 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. with a continual stream of people brought by their families or friends or community members.
Two of our therapists were thankfully very experienced in treating the many cases of Cerebral Palsy and as time went on had to be more and more inventive as our equipment dwindled.
Our last day was very emotional as we still had many people who came hoping for our help and we had precious little time left to offer, but no one was turned away. Then at the end of the last day we joined together to give thanks and to share gifts and cake!
There were many hugs and a good few tears and we had to say goodbye to our wonderful new colleagues!
For me ‘the lows’ were the numbers of children with cerebral palsy, the young adults with amputations following road traffic accidents, and realising the level of discrimination in Kenya against disability. The ‘highs’ were the deep bonds we formed with the willing Kenyan helpers with their eagerness and smiles, and every person we saw come with anxiety on their face and then left with a smile and a photo!
I am so so honoured to have been on that trip! I shall definitely stay in touch with Pastor Davis, Ruth and family to hear how the projects progress.
I also made lifelong friends in our team.
In Eburgon, Kenya. Father Davies organised for locals who needed wheelchairs to come to his church between August 18th and August 23rd; 5 full days working from 9 a.m. till 6 p.m. Most of the people who came to us were families with children with cerebral palsy. Over the 5 days we saw nearly 250 clients, both adults and children.
It was very humbling and rewarding. In the West and in the USA we are so blessed with so many options.