Darien 6th Grader writes letter to the editor for our Unite For Africa walk-a-thon

Letter to the editor of the Darien Times, by 12-year-old Eliza Spain
6th grade, Middlesex Middle School, Darien, CT
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“All my life I have been acutely aware of unfairness, injustice and discrimination. And I don’t like it… whether in the classroom, on the playing fields, or anywhere on this planet. The media bombards us with news of ISIS, terrorism, hunger, and terrible human suffering all over the world. Recently I learned that in many places in Africa, people with disabilities are ostracized for being different. They are often believed to be cursed by witchcraft and cast aside. This is hard for me to understand and it eats away at me. I have so much love in my heart, for my family, my friends and strangers alike. My prayer is that my love can, even if only in some small way, change this world for the better. I want to help people in need, and I need to know that I can. And now, thanks to the good works of the Darien High School student club Unite for Africa, I know that I will be able to make a tangible difference. 
 
On May 31st, Unite for Africa is hosting a Strides for Strength walk-a-thon at the DHS track to raise money to purchase prosthetics and wheelchairs for people living with disabilities in Tanzania, East Africa. Just by coming out and walking, I will help change their lives for the better. I ask you all to come out and walk with me. Not only do these people in Tanzania need your help, but I do too. I need to know that I live in a community that will not tolerate preventable human suffering… anywhere. If we succeed with this walk a thon, Amani Bora, 24, who was born with brittle bone disease, will get a wheelchair. John Kimario, 20, who was born without both hands and one foot and who has a facial disfigurement which affects his jaw and speech, will get a new prosthetic leg. Maria Kivatwa, 43, who was paralyzed from the waist down after falling from a tree while looking for mangoes to feed her family, will get a new wheelchair. Mary Dudee, 32, who was born without legs and had to walk on her hands to get around, will get a wheelchair. And the list goes on. The more money we raise, the more lives we can help transform.
 
Save the date and join me 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Darien High School track field. We are raising money by inviting people to sponsor us on a per lap basis. We are also inviting straight donations to purchase crutches ($50) or even hand powered wheelchairs ($300). Tax deductible contributions can be make online through the Darien-based charity Unite the World with Africa Foundation at www.uniteafricafoundation.org.  No amount is too small!
 
And since you are joining me, please feel free to bring a canned or dry good, which will be donated locally to the Person-to-Person food pantry. We can all make a difference!
 
Eliza Spain
 
6th grade, MMS