A visit to Jairos Jiri centre in Harare made me change my perception about the disabled children in my country.
I was left shedding tears of joy soon after I met Samuel, a ten year old who was born without hands but has taken this challenge into an opportunity and uses his legs to weave baskets to make a living.
While our streets are filled with elderly beggars, waiting for hand outs at traffic lights, Samuel is a living example that disability is not inability. The young man weaves one basket in two hours, despite the challenges that he faces, including a dire lack of resources. I wish the government of the day, through the relevant authorities, would take note that this young boy has talent and all he needs is material support and market.
I have also come to realise that all the disabled people begging in the streets have been driven to do that through the circumstances they find themselves in, given that the then ZANU government only focuses on such things as corruption and amassing personal wealth by raping state resources.
It is pure mockery that this country is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which recognizes that all mentally and physically disabled children should enjoy a full and decent life providing conditions that ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and facilitate the child’s active participation in the community.
The situation for most children with disabilities in this country remains dire.