Good Hope Trust empowers people living with disabilities

By Tafara Chikumira

A Gokwe traditional leader has launched an empowerment programme for people with disabilities to fight stigma and ensure they realise their full potential.

Chief Chireya of Gokwe has launched the Good Hope Disability Trust to assist people with disabilities in his area of jurisdiction.

One of the beneficiaries is 61-year-old Makundano Ndlovu, a widow who has weak legs, her 23-year-old son developed the same problem and has never been to school.

“I am grateful to the chief’s initiative. I have nothing to my name and working for me is a tall order. However, I owe my life to the chief who makes sure that I get food hampers for my family’s survival every month,” said Makundano Ndlovu.

“It is quite refreshing to note that this family has been in cooperated in this programme. The Chief has been very helpful in the process. Our aim is to take this child on a professional course as we do to all the other children. It might look difficult since he can’t read and write but it has been done before and we believe it can be done on him.”

Vox 3….We are realising a lot of change amongst communities through this programme. Livelihoods are changing for the better and we thank God for the wisdom he has bestowed upon our chief. These are people who were previously looked down upon but to date they are making meaningful contributions to society.”

With 50 people directly benefiting from the initiative after being equipped with various skills, there is hope for a better future.

“I have realised that there are many people with disabilities here in Gokwe. The sad part is that most of the parents of such children are too ashamed to parade their children to the world thereby denying them access to basic life skills like education and others. I have taken this initiative to ensure that these people realise that disability does not mean inability. I am happy that some who have gained skills here are already making a living through opening shops at the nearby township and are now able to assist their families,” said Chief Chireya.

Last year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa launched the National Disability Policy which seeks to ensure people with disabilities are not left behind in national development matters.