We are thrilled to welcome Ellie Robinson MBE and Emeli Sandé as new Patrons of Able Child Africa.
We can’t wait to work with them both on projects that they are passionate about and enhance the profile of our work.
Emeli fronted the BBC Radio 4 Appeal for us in June 2020, and Ellie did a short speech at our Non-Gala 2020 and chaired the launch of our Disability-inclusive Child Safeguarding Guidelines in May 2021.
“I support Able Child Africa because without their work many children with disabilities would be left voiceless, and excluded from many aspects of society and family life. I like that they work in collaboration with local organisations at a grassroots level. They value and respect the expertise and culture of local communities.
I am of Zambian heritage so it is very important for me to use the opportunities I have to make a positive impact in African countries. I want to be part of changing the lives of children with disabilities in Africa so they can access education and have the future they deserve and have the right to. I hope you can support Able Child Africa too.”
“In the past 50 years, here in the UK, we’ve seen how rapidly a society can change and progress. In a matter of decades, we’ve passed the Sex Discrimination Act, the Race Relations Act, the Disability Discrimination Act and the Equality Act. It’s perhaps been the greatest rate of advancement since the Industrial Revolution. The freedom that this has brought, however, often goes unrecognised and, amongst those who haven’t known otherwise, unappreciated. I think it’s fair to say that those of us, who have grown up with this equal opportunity, do sometimes forget the value of the society we live in. It’s only when we look at those living in societies with so little opportunity, that we realise the extent of our own liberty.
For me, the goal in every society should always be Equality of Opportunity. It’s an unambiguous goal and it’s the first step to freedom of ambition. I feel that we can really lead by example – particularly here in the UK. London 2012 was pivotal in shaping our culture and the way disabled people are perceived. The Games highlighted the credibility disabled people deserve and allowed their potential for excellence to be proven equal to that of others. I think that’s something we need to be careful not to lose, in a society where a ‘one label fits all’ outlook is prevailing over intrinsic gifts and merit.
I see Able Child Africa as a remarkable opportunity. We have an incredible tool, which is the experience of the past 50 years. I certainly believe myself, that upon all of this we can draw a huge amount of knowledge. Knowledge of what has been successful and knowledge of what we should be careful to avoid. By no means will it be an easy task. To make such a great cultural and systematic change, our ancestors endured years of sacrifice. What we can say in Africa is that the seed of equality has already been sewn. We’ve seen great advancement in women’s rights and education and with our own experience and knowledge we can expand this further. What’s more, perhaps what we learn when working in Africa may even enable us to better ourselves. ”