Number ONE in Her Own Division
It was the end of our Special Olympics day. Kenya Keys Board member and director of the school, Raphael Galuka, was wrapping up the grand event that had lasted four hours. We’d watched the children, struggling but triumphant, overcome their various disabilities to compete and then climb, as best they could, on to the hand-made podium to get their cheers and their medals. You’ve never seen such wide smiles.
But some of the children had not been capable of running at all, so Raphael had created an activity they could do successfully: they were each given a bucket of sand and an empty soda bottle to fill with the sand, “to help with their fine motor skills,” he said with his huge grin. They’d just finished their competition and received their medals. “Everyone is a winner on this day,” says Raphael.
Last but not least, there was a young girl whose disabilities were so extreme that she hadn’t been able to compete in anything. He had created for her an event of her own, ever so simple. Then he shouted with joy, held up her hand on the podium and loudly announced, “And here is Mary Nyamawi. She is number ONE in her own division!”
I think about it when I feel inept and burdened by dismay. I hear Raphael kindly say, to me and to others, “Ah. But you are number one in your own division.”