I Am Able is SHIFTING GEARS TOWARDS A BRIGHTER FUTURE! Disability is not inability.
I am Able is transforming the life’s of many, one road at a time. Riding together, in unity, our handicapped cycling team is riding through rural villages all around the world, spreading their message that disability is not an inability and that the disabled are ABLE!
It is a blessing to be able to share our story, love, support and training with others like ourselves in hopes that we can inspire and teach one another. By doing so, those we meet alongs the way will gain a sense of self worth and independence.
We hope to ingite a shift in awareness which starts at an individual level, but also spreads into society as we each use our own talents to contribute to our community,environment, and the world.
In this journey we begin to shift perspectives of how disabled and able alike will look upon themselves and others.
I am Able started from the shift in one teammate’s mentality that his own disability was not an inability. Our team captain, Frederick Ndabaramiye, is a survivor of the Rwandan genocide and civil injustice of which is hard to understand.
In 1994, the people of Rwanda experienced one of the worst genocides in history, taking nearly a million people’s lives in just 100 days, leaving thousands of others alone and homeless searching for refuge and hope. Many people took refuge in Congo, but years later some of the Interahamwe rebels returned back to Rwanda to kill again.
In 1998, at the young age of 15 years old, Frederick Ndabaramiye was on his way to visit his aunt when a group of Interahamwe rebels stopped the bus he was traveling on. They told everyone to get out and began tyeing everyone’s arms behind their backs. Being the youngest person on the bus, the rebels told Frederick that he had to kill all the passengers. He refused saying, “No, kill me first.” This made the soldiers very angry and they made him watch as they killed everyone in front of his eyes.
After killing the others, they took Frederick into the jungle to cut off his arms. Using a dull machete, this took some time. After doing so, they left him for dead. Frederick tried many times to stand up. After getting to his feet and walking for nearly two hours, two women found him and brought him to a hospital where he spent a year recovering. He was in a coma for the first six months. When he finally woke, he saw people crying in pain and dying all around him. He felt useless and lost all hope. He tried killing himself a couple times by overdosing with medicine, but twice he didn’t die. When he realized this, he knew that God had reason for him to live.
Frederick spent the rest of that year in the hospital recovering. When he was released, his mother didn’t have the resources to care for him so he was placed in the Imbabazi Orphanage, started by an American woman Rosamond Carr. When he first arrived at the orphanage, it was very difficult for him to live with his anger and sadness. But, eventually it would be the place where Frederick
regained hope and found a new life for himself.
Soon he realized that he wasn’t alone. He began to share his stories and experiences with the others and his new life began. After regaining a sense of hope, Frederick was determined to be independent again. He wanted to be able to feed, bathe and dress himself. The first thing he learned was how to smile again. Thereafter, he taught himself how to hold a spoon, take a shower, shave and put on clothes. No matter how many attempts each task took, Frederick never gave up!