In the green hills of Miiri lies the border of between Nyeri and Kirinyaga counties – a green landscape, permeated with numerous banana stumps many reeling from the weight of the green fruit. Across each road is a picturesque of farms on end with arrowroot leaves craning their necks to outdo each other for sunshine as the women, men, and children alike pull out huge tubers of sweet potatoes.
This is also the home of Teresa Wakaguyu Mbute – a mother of one who has lived with disability. The team from Optiven Foundation was the reason she had crawled out of her house in the early hours of the morning to sit by the roadside and wait to welcome them. Her grandchildren keen to see who are these visitors and why are they coming to see their grandmother? We arrive at the road sign with a huge road sign indicating you are now entering Kirinyaga county.
The sign does not intimidate the peasant farmer who is now overjoyed by what the day has brought, for her journey of many years of being dependent on her only child to carry her are about to come to an end. The team from Optiven Foundation disembarks with the tools, gifts and a brand new wheelchair – their presence here an offshoot of what the Optiven Group does in its bid to transform the society.
The embankment towards the house is steep as it sits on the side of a hill – the location itself a clear challenge that for Teresa to move from her home it is an arduous task, made even more tricky should the rain fall on this red soiled hill. Her face is filled with emotion, she looks to the sky as if expecting a voice to say something to her, then she turns her face to the cameraman – a mentee under cohort two of the Optiven Graduate Mentorship Programme.
As if on cue, she breaks into a song of thanksgiving while giving a remarkable smile for what fate has brought her way. With the team is Edith Hunja – a well wisher who had by chance seen Teresa as she crawled her way in the streets of Karatina – a hardworker, minding her business, making ends meet, despite living with disability and being of advanced age at a ripe age of sixty seven years.
According to Ms. Hunja the idea of helping Teresa would certainly be achieved if the same was sent to facebook. The post was then picked by an Optiven Customer who herself became an instant philanthropist because for every sale of land through Optiven Limited, 5% of the income goes back to the foundation. According to Njoki wa Westlands she said I was at home from Germany visiting with family and after seeing this old lady struggling to crawl, I remembered that I had seen a facebook live recording of Optiven Foundation giving out a wheelchair on Valentines Day.