Sunday 27 January 2013

International Nepal Fellowship,UK.

INF's BBC Radio 4 appeal
24 JAN 13
Anne Wafula Strike at the BBC.
An appeal in aid of International Nepal Fellowship will be broadcast in the UK on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday 3 February.
The presenter of the appeal is Anne Wafula Strike (Paralympic wheelchair racer, author and sporting ambassador).  Anne is passionate about INF’s work. 
Funds raised from this appeal will provide life-changing wheelchairs to children living with cerebral palsy in Nepal.  Children with cerebral palsy in Nepal are often very isolated.  The wheelchairs will help children to be more independent and fully part of family and community life.  
Anne suffered paralysis at two years old, and had to wait 27 years for her first wheelchair. It is her hope that children living with cerebral palsy in Nepal do not have to wait as long as she did for a wheelchair. 
If you are in the UK, please do tune in to the broadcast: Sunday 3 February on BBC Radio 4 (92-95 FM, 103-105 FM, online) at 7.55am and 9.26pm.  
If you are outside of the UK, you can listen to the appeal after Sunday via the BBC Radio 4 Appeal web page.
To give to this appeal, please visit the INF donate page: click on your region, complete the online form and select ‘BBCR4 wheelchairs for children with Cerebral Palsy appeal’ from the options.
You can also hear Anne speak of her admiration for the work of INF, and why she is presenting the appeal. 

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'The Sessions'.

Series: Another view

A member of the British Polio Fellowship's view on The Sessions

None of the disabled friends of Anne Wafula Strike had ever heard of a 'sex surrogate', as described in this wonderful film – but many would like to try it
The Sessions - 2012
'I related to how Mark felt about his body' ... John Hawkes and Helen Hunt in The Sessions. Photograph: FoxSearch/Everett/Rex Features
When I heard a film had been made about sex and disability, I was worried. How could a film about a man who survived polio as a child, and who now wants to employ a "sex surrogate" to take his virginity, be anything other than gross? I was ready to cover my eyes – but I didn't need to. This is a wonderfully sensitive and beautifully acted film.
  1. The Sessions
  2. Production year: 2012
  3. Country: USA
  4. Cert (UK): 15
  5. Runtime: 95 mins
  6. Directors: Ben Lewin
  7. Cast: Adam Arkin, Annika Marks, Helen Hunt, John Hawkes, Moon Bloodgood, William H Macy, William H. Macy
  8. More on this film
  1. In My Dreams I Dance (My Story)
  2. by Anne Wafula
  3. Buy it from the Guardian bookshop
  1. Tell us what you think:Star-rate and review this book
Like Mark, who is played by John Hawkes, I contracted polio as a child. But he spends many hours in an iron lung and is near immobile, whereas I have never used one – I was born in Kenya and they didn't have them at the time – and I'm a Paralympic wheelchair racer. Nor had I ever heard of a sex surrogate. I've been asking disabled friends about it, and most of them haven't either. It's opened their eyes; some of them are saying they'd like to try it.
I could very much relate to the way Mark feels about his body. He's ashamed; at first, he can hardly bear for Cheryl (Helen Hunt) to touch him. When I was a teenager, I felt the same way: boys were starting to notice my friends, and I couldn't imagine anyone ever finding me sexy. Eventually, I just decided that I was beautiful the way I am. Mark goes through a very similar process.
There's a lovely moment when he says something like: "God must have a wicked sense of humour – he made me." I feel the same way. If you have any kind of religious belief, you learn to accept yourself – to understand that your disability is not a curse, but that God has made you in his own image.
I'd have liked to see the film look at post-polio syndrome [a condition that affects polio survivors later in life]. I have it, and many people don't even know it exists. But that's a small criticism. This is an important and educational film. I hope it will help people to understand polio better.
• Anne Wafula Strike's autobiography In My Dreams I Dance is available through the British Polio Fellowship (; 0800 018 0586). The Sessions is out now.

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