They say when life throws you lemons, collect them and make lemonade. This applies in retrospect to a youthful disability rights defender, Tsepang Nare.
At a time when the world was stalling and trying to grapple with the destructive virus that had upset everything, Nare in Bulawayo was practically trying to get wheelchairs for those with disabilities.
Nare said, “After seeing the psychological and financial implications of the lockdown as a necessary government action, I wondered how some of my colleagues who were unable to get around due to a lack of resources have survived.” For him, being unable to move was as good as being locked up, and because he had felt what it was like, he decided to get wheelchairs.
The campaign, which launched on March 1, 2020, was also launched on Radio Zimbabwe, which broadcasts in two widely used indigenous Zimbabwean languages, Ndebele and Shona, and Skyz Metro.
Having made his offers beforehand, he knew he would need around R76,000 for 26 of them, as Utility Sheer Mobility in South Africa sold them at a cheaper price. A Go fund was opened, however, and by then Covid was fully grown, which didn’t produce results until it partnered with Harare Dawn, one of the Rotary clubs. As a result of this joint venture, Debonairs Wheels Distribution officially started on April 20, 2021.
When asked what motivated him to use the word Debonairs, he said, “A wheelchair gave him the rightful dignity he deserved. As such, Debonairs wheels simply meant trust wheels. With wheels you have confidence and a sense of Elegance.”
Tools are the bridge between human rights and development. In order to gain access to health care, education or even reporting of atrocities and any form of injustice, a mobility aid must be available.
During the handover ceremony, Nare shared his broader vision to see a transformed disability cluster where people with disabilities are at the center of initiating and directing development. Moreso, he insisted that society had a role to play in ensuring that they are on the front lines since the beginning is most important.
Providing wheelchairs for children, especially for school attendance, was a bold step in securing the future, and this initiative was mainly aimed at learners with a preference for girls.
7 out of a total of 27 beneficiaries received wheelchairs and a 10 kg bag of pastries as part of a partnership with the Rotary Club
Zimbabwe Disability Network and HIV and AIDS Organization
(ZIMNEDAO). Further distributions are planned for May and July.
Nare continued to comment on the pandemic and encouraged people to heed the provisions of 19.
“The virus is not finished with us.” The good news is that existing vaccines appear to be effective against the variants, but the pandemic is evolving, so caution must be exercised. ”
Among the participants were Bulawayo’s best artist Noma Mkhwananzi (Nkwali), journalists from various media houses and the Deputy Director of Bulawayo Province in the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Art and Leisure as a guest of honor.
NOTE: This article was submitted with financial support from the European Union (EU).
The content is solely the responsibility of Abel Mavura and does not reflect the views of the EU.