Parents shun own disabled children

Children in Chivi at their stimulation center

A parent who had neglected his own child and refused to facilitate that she gets national identity documents, because of disability has had a change of heart following transformative education.

Richard Mupuvira of Chivi, told journalists, he had all but abandoned his disabled daughter, to the extent that he did not even want her to get IDs because of her disability.

“I used to make her sit anywhere either it was hot or not and when we were going to the fields, we used to leave her because I felt like she could not help in anyway, I also did not feel the need to get her the identification documents needed by other children,” said Mapuvira. 

He was to change his stance and accord his daughter's dignity of existence and her rights following interaction with Chengaose Stimulation Centre , a Non Governmental organisation which works to promote rights of differently abled people.

Mapuvira is now a lead campaigner for the rights of disabled children after the local headman donated land to the community now known as Chengaose Tagamuchira disabled garden, that has since been turned into an oasis of encouragement. 

“During one of the training sessions , the headman called me and allocated to me a piece of land and we created the Chengaose Tagamuchira disabled garden,” he said

Beauty Magwide who also suffered stigmatization after giving birth to a disabled child spoke on how Chengaose Stimulation Centre which enjoys the support of UNICEF had changed her family’s life and that of her child who had been neglected even by herself. 

“With UNICEF we learnt that we have to participate in different projects such as gardens and also teach each other ways to take care of the children with disability whilst comforting each other, I also learnt love through UNICEF,” Magwide said.

Zimbabwe Parents of Handicapped Children Association (ZPHCA) is also another project in the area operating with the assistance of UNICEF which has changed minds and perspectives.

A beneficiary of the training ZPHCA who is a youth leader Chipo Pikirai expressed appreciation to UNICEF for providing them with survival skills such as bead making, key holder making and also knitting.

“ We benefitted a lot from UNICEF, we have learnt entrepreneurial skills such making key holders , making reusable sanitary wear, we have also gained confidence and knowledge and we are not afraid to stand in front of people anymore,” Pikirai said.

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