Churches Inc in Tanzania: Day 4
Janet, Abi, Katie, and Shaun are working in Tanzania from the 6th to 16th June, delivering and supporting Churches Inc leaders events and workshops. Our Churches Inc. programme equips the church with a Christian perspective on disability, helping them to be fully inclusive so everyone is valued. Here's their report on the second day - Follow this link to the team's day 2 blog.
Today we set out at 7.30am to visit people with disabilities in their own environments. As we visited the homes it became more and more aparant just how many barriers disabled people face in this community. Disabled adults have the same responsibilities as able people and this is an indication to what degree they are affected by these barriers.
The first lady we visited was Magdelena. We drove very slowly for a number of miles toward her house. About 300 metres before we reached it we could drive no further because of the rough terrain and large boulders. Mwanza is often called Rock City because large boulders are everywhere.
We walked the last 300 metres. Katy, who is a wheelchair user wanted to accompany the rest of the team as we walked on foot.
Magdalena is a mother of five. They all live in one room about 3 metres by 2.5 metres in sizes. This is their bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and toilet. Magdalena became paralysed from the waist down a few years ago. Her husband and father of her children absconded and they haven't seen him since. Magdelenas oldest child is 12 year old. She cares for Magdalena. Because of her disability her children aren't able to go to school as they have to look after her. Her desire if for at least one of her children to get an education so that the family will eventually be able to be supported.
Janet presented Magdalena with a solar powered audio Bible which she was thrilled to have.
Magdalena has been clamouring over the rocks with crutches to get anywhere. She would like a wheelchair. Our concern is that a wheelchair will need to be carried on someone's head over the boulders.
Although the story is a depiction of this particular family, it is not an isolated case as this is the nature of the terrain here in Mwanza. After having left Magdelenas house we were shown the Centre where the workshop will be held tomorrow and Wednesday.
Ps Shadrack has applied with the UK charity Tools with a Mission for tools and equipment to be used at this Centre to equip disabled adults with the skills to earn an income. The first consignment is due to arrive in August in a container that is being shared with other partners of Tools with a Mission in Tanzania.
After our visit to the disability Centre we visited a number of people with disabilities in their homes. One little boy by the name of Juma has cerebral palsy. He is 16 years old and after two years at school he was so badly discriminated against by the pupils and the teachers that he left. He therefore has no education. He said that he would like to be a DJ. He is pictured below.
We then drove about 45 minutes out of town to a leprosy colony. One of the men there was Clement Bula. He is seen below trying to wash his bandages. Because he has no fingers he has to do it with his teeth.