One of our heroes, Mama Leki of the Maman Shujaa Centre has passed away. Perhaps she might have survived, if the hospitals even had ventilators. Instead, we have lost this sister. This sister who stood boldly as a woman with a disability, knowing from experience how women with disabilities are treated in her community and almost everywhere. She was devoted to making a welcoming place for women with disabilities to come together. A place to come together to sew, and to support themselves and their community. There is deep grief at the Maman Shujaa Centre at losing the chance to be day to day with this woman, and to witness the changes in others by the love that she spread.
May all of the work that she did survive and thrive, and live on in those who had the chance to work with her and know her, and those of us who were inspired by her simply by knowing about her. Inspired to continue to do the kind of work, the heart-felt work that she did for so many, her whole life. And her sisterhood will make sure that her name and her work continue to be known and celebrated. Her name will not be hidden or forgotten, as so many women before. In our sisterhood she was and will be remembered, one that will have her story told and repeated, to continue to inspire, and to thank and honour her.
Because it is time that the work that women do is acknowledged, the work that shows that this creation of community, built on this love for others, is possible. This love that imagines and works for a world in which women and girls live fully and freely, a world in which women with disabilities live with respect, a world in which we have collectively ended every form of violence, everywhere. Where everyone has friends like those in Maman Shujaa, and throughout World Pulse.
Rest in Peace Mama Leki. You will be remembered for what you did to build what we have together today, and what you did to show what true love and true sisterhood is all about. I mourn that you did not have more time with your Maman Shujaa sisters. I mourn that we did not fix this world in time for you to have had more time. The work and accomplishments of women are all too often taken for granted, even erased from history. Here within World Pulse we are building and maintaining our own documentation of the work that women are doing and have done to create the world that we know is not only possible, but essential.
Mama Leki has been remembered in the New York Times and will be forever remembered in our hearts.