Ensuring inclusiveness, equality and empowering people with disabilities are at the heart of this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities - marked on December 3rd, 2018. As part of the ASPIRE programme in Malawi, United Purpose is helping to break the cycle of poverty, by increasing resilience and aiming to ensure that no one is left behind. Working closely with local authorities, UP is making sure that individuals like Yohane Kankhulungo receive the targeted support they need.
Yohane is a 60 year old father of three sons and lives in the Dedza district of central Malawi where 80% of the community earn their income through subsistence farming. In 2014, after being involved in a road traffic incident, he had to have his leg amputated.
Before this, Yohane grew maize and earned extra income from weaving and selling baskets. After the accident, he was unable to work and told us he’d lost his independence - he was forced to rely on others to help him move around. When Yohane’s wife left him a little later, he described it as the “saddest moment in his life,” and it drove him into a deep depression. Fortunately for Yohane, his three sons continued to support him, including sourcing weaving materials.
Since UP and Malawi Against Physical Disability (MAP) came to his village, however, Yohane feels that his dignity has been restored. After a needs assessment, he received a specially adapted tricycle, which allows him to move around his village independently, visit friends and attend key events including village development meetings. He now feels “like a member of the community again”. He is no longer dependent on his sons and can collect the weaving materials he uses himself. This means that he’s in a position to determine his own future and he is already making plans to expand his business.
“I am excited with this support. It has already made a difference in my life. My life will no longer remain the same, I am moving UP!”
United Purpose is working with Malawi Against Physical Disabilities (MAP), the Federation of Disability Organisations in Malawi (FEDOMA) and local disability forums as part of a wider 5 year long programme. Achieving Sustainable Poverty Reduction through Increased Inclusive Resilience and Empowerment (ASPIRE ) aims to break the vicious cycle of poverty and insecurity in Dedza, including by improving the accountability and responsiveness of local governance authorities so that they promote social inclusion in a holistic and tailored way.
To learn more about what United Purpose does in Malawi click here.