Letu had been disabled since birth, with no access to healthcare, suitable wheelchairs or any of the assistance much of the world takes for granted. To move, Letu had to crawl; he was totally dependent on others.
Janna didn't understand the reality of Letu's situation until, as a design student, he had an accident that left him wheelchair-bound for months. As his independence disappeared, he thought of Letu and his daily struggle to fulfil life's basic needs.
In East Africa alone, 1 in every 200 people lives in need of a wheelchair, imprisoned by their disability. Determined to help, Janna returned to Kenya in 2015 to develop SafariSeat.
SafariSeat climbs over rough ground like no other wheelchair. It uses a simple, patented mechanism that mimics car suspension, ensuring all the wheels remain on the ground at all times for maximum stability.
The SafariSeat campaign is about enabling communities to help themselves. Janna plans to make the blueprints absolutely free, as part of an open source toolkit that will enable workshops to make SafariSeats for their community - to help people with disabilities and create local, sustainable employment.
SafariSeat has already allowed Letu to discover his independence and teach his son what it means to be a Samburu. With SafariSeat, Janna hopes many others will be able to experience the same freedom.
SafariSeat is the first project from Uji, a social enterprise company determined to make a difference. Their goal is to design tools that help people break free from the poverty cycle. Uji is led by a team of young designers: Janna Deeble, Cara O'Sullivan, James Seers and Bertie Meyer.
The Uji philosophy is to help people help themselves - to avoid a culture of dependency, by operating on open-source principles.