PWDs support each other in quest for better lives

Driven by the desire to prove that disability does not mean inability, Terrence Nyamazana has taken it upon himself to assist fellow people with disabilities (PWDs) lead a better life. He spoke to THABANI DUBE about his dream to improve lives.

Terrence Nyamazana : Mobility is a challenge to most of our members.
Terrence Nyamazana : Mobility is a challenge to most of our members.

Born with congenital deformation of his left leg Nyamazana is a fully trained electrician. He stays in Dzivarasekwa where he has since brought together 40 people with disabilities to form a cooperative and work together.

“I was touched by seeing my colleagues who used to craw to walk. Some still cannot move an inch due to their disability. So I approached the deputy director for rehabilitation in the Ministry of Health for assistance and he organised 21 ordinary and cranking wheelchairs plus other assistive devices,” Nyamazana told The Zimbabwean.

This success motivated him to dream bigger. He has now reached beyond his community to touch the entire constituency which has since so far touched even those beyond his community.

“Using the few resources where they are needed most, we distributed the wheelchairs to the critical cases as they were delivered in batches. Our councillor, Gilbert Hadebe, assisted us to hand over six other wheelchairs to deserving PWDs from as far as Mhondoro, Epworth, and Mbare for free,” said Nyamazana.

He said it was sad to note that PWDs find it difficult to go where assistance is given.

“The society must be more accommodative and willing to assist the disabled because together we can make our society a better place for everyone. Mobility is a challenge to most of our members as some do not even have both legs and we need our own vehicle to ferry them to rehabilitation and working centres,” said Nyamazana.

The group has since embarked on a livelihood skills training programme that it hopes will culminate in the formation of a cooperative.

“We are now a month into the project. We are working with the local social worker who is training our members to design and mould products such as bowels, trays and chairs using waste material such as card boxes, newspapers and flour, which acts as glue.

“Vaseline is used to polish the finished products to make them attractive for sale. They can be used to store fruits and vegetables,” he said.

Nyamazana said they were starting small and venturing into recycling projects, which were vital to raise awareness about the need to keep the environment clean while making money at the same time.

Progress is being hindered by a number of challenges. “Only 20 members are attending training at the community hall. Their major problem is the responsibility to work and fend for their families while those who attend also need food when they are here for training.

“We need our own working place since the community hall is a public place for the whole community and we also need more income generating programmes,” he said.

“Most of the houses in the city were designed and constructed for able-bodied people so accommodation is a huge problem for people with disabilities. Our vision is to form a housing cooperative that fosters our shelter needs as most of us are lodgers and live in shacks,” he explained.

Manyara Chikudzula, a widow with four children is a member of the group. She said the team had given her hope.

“I used to work as a maid before I had a stroke. A problem told is half solved. As a group we work towards solutions. I just wish we could get a willing donor to boost and help make our dream come true to establish a business cooperative,” she said.

Chikudzula said her eldest son dropped out of school when he was in grade seven due to poverty while her daughter is in third year at secondary school after she appealed to the headmaster.

Dzivarasekwa Ward 39 Councillor, Gilbert Hadebe, said he was pushing a council resolution to allow councillors identify open spaces in their wards to assist vulnerable members of the society to establish home industries.

“I am also assisting widows like Chikudzula to have council houses left by their parents changed to their names,” he said.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *