KICC lit up in purple to celebrate PLWDs

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The Kenyatta International Conference Center was on Friday night lit up in purple colours to celebrate the International day of people Living With Disabilities.

The lighting ceremony was organised by Google, in partnership with the ministry of Public Service and the National Council of People with Disabilities.

Executive Director of NCPD Harun Hassan said the day was aimed at increasing public awareness, understanding, and acceptance of people with any form of disability

“Today, let us heed the call of the #PurpleLightUp campaign to celebrate the social and economic contribution of persons with disabilities and use this occasion to engage in conversations and actions that drive disability inclusion in Kenya,” he said.

The Purple Light Up is part of a global movement started in 2017 that kicked off on Twitter.

The idea is for participating organisations across the world to celebrate the contribution of persons with disabilities in the workplace, by lighting certain buildings purple.

Gender CS Margaret Kobia said that Kenyans should continue to work in solidarity with PLWDs in their communities.

She acknowledged that Kenyans still view PLWDs with pity instead of seeing them as ordinary Kenyans and urged Kenyans to work to include them instead of stigmatising them.

“The need to have more open conversations around diversity and inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace is needed now more than ever as Kenya has many PWDs amongst them,” she said.

“Disability inclusion means, making sure everybody, and especially persons with disabilities who have suffered discrimination and marginalization, have equal opportunities. All that is needed to create such a world is solidarity, allyship and inclusion,” she added.

Google Country Director Agnes Gathaiya said Google was pleased to join the movement.

“As a company, we are committed to continuing to make diversity, equity, and inclusion part of everything we do, from how we build our products to how we build our workforce,” she said.

According to the World Health Organisation, there are over 386 million disabled employees around the world and over one billion people worldwide have some form of disability, translating to one in seven people.

“This event aims at celebrating and drawing attention to the economic contribution of all these wonderful employees and the lives of the people living with disabilities who light up our lives ,” she said.

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