Tuesday, October 7, 2014

My Where About in Tanzania

Right after finishing my undergraduate studies, I got the opportunity of serving children with disabilities in the coastal region of Tanzania through an organization known as Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and for sure it has been a rewarding process. When I got in Mwandege a beautiful coastal village: The situation was hopeless, most children with disabilities had no access to health care and those with severe disabilities or even mild disabilities that needed medical attention ended up dying at a tender age… community members believed that children were the way they are because they were bewitched or cursed, as a result, they ended up going to the witchdoctors’ for help. Some of the children who rose above the medical need were hidden and never allowed to interact with other children this is due to the stigma that they experienced from their fellow community members. As a social minister and one of the pioneer of the disability outreach ministry, the first step that I took was getting to know the people and their perception about children with disabilities…… from the hospital where I was I sent out a message that we had a ministry running but parents never came….. I took the challenge upon myself by going for home visits this is where I built trust with parents and I was able to help them directly…… for children who had conditions that needed medical attention I was able to refer them to medical centers where they got help (networking ), this helped a great deal, for some of the children who were denied their right to education I took part by helping them enroll in our community school. I consequently, Started community awareness through public events and churches, I also organized seminars where I shared my story (my challenges and success in life as a person with disability) this helped parents in opening up and made them realize that the challenges they experience in life cut across many cultures but with positive efforts the challenges can be overcome…. Frequent meetings gave them an opportunity of learning from each other The greatest challenges and the main gaps that still remains is that most children are denied their access to education due to their disabilities; automatically locks them out in their future holistic development and there has been high rate of family breakage as a result of children who have disabilities. It has been two year’s since the ministry started, working from the grass-root has worked,it gives joy to see the development especially when parents and children that I have worked with being happy and confident more than I found them…I thank God for the Progress... keep me in prayers friends!

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