What words, actions and personalities come to mind when you hear the word #Epilepsy

4:40:00 AM

Just about to do Epilepsy First Aid Demonstration

As you all know, I am a sucker for new beginnings and so Mondays are my new best days because they are a new beginning and most of all, it means Tuesday is next door and I get the honor to work with my Sweetlings from Kibera. Tomorrow is our fourth session which I am super excited about because the participants will be acting out an awareness campaign on epilepsy to mark Purple Day which is on Wednesday. (For y’all with no clue, Purple Day is International Epilepsy Awareness Day, show your support by wearing something purple and twitpic or share on Instagram with the hashtag #purpledayKE)  

As I wait to see what they came up with, I will share what we learnt last week. The week before, we opened our blog, http://kiberasowetoeastmentalhealthgroup.blogspot.com which I pray you are all following. The blog still doesn’t have any posts because we had a competition to see which group will come up with the best post. On Tuesday, I had 27 participants (yes the numbers keep shooting upwards) and they practiced their public speaking by sharing their posts to the class after which voting was done. Two out of five groups didn’t present (one didn’t meet at all to do the work and the person with the second group’s work didn’t come for the session), group one won and I tasked them to type out the posts which I will teach them how to upload tomorrow after I see their awareness activity. I had also given them an assignment to get email addresses; I was impressed to see that all the participants (save for one) had teamed up and gotten email addresses, our Google group will be up soon, woot woot. (The Google group is where we will be having private group discussions even after the training sessions are over)

Some of the words they came up with

After the reading and voting, we learnt about epilepsy and the first thing we did in groups was to list words, actions and personalities that come to mind when we hear the word epilepsy. The participants came up with interesting words, some teaching us their local languages but three words that made me shiver were contagious disease, deadly infection and maiti ya nthi (which I was told loosely translates to the walking dead). From this point of their understanding, I was able to take them through what epilepsy is, its causes, triggers, first aid and living life with epilepsy.

I ended the session asking them not to discriminate against anyone with epilepsy because it is not a respecter of persons regardless of age, social status, country, race, religion, gender. I am eager to know what words, actions and personalities come to mind when you hear the word #Epilepsy.

See pictures of the session on MMMF FB page and remember to wear purple on Wednesday and use the hashtag #purpledayKE

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