By Stephen Muchaka
The Harare Central Rotary Club handed over the last 44 of the 440 wheelchairs that they sourced through their network recently at their offices in the capital.
Zimbabwe enacted the Disabled Persons Act of 1992, which seeks among other things to make provision for the welfare and rehabilitation of disabled persons.Disabled people are one of the most marginalized, socially excluded and poorest groups in Zimbabwean Society. It is estimated about 900 000-1.4million people have some disability in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is a State Party to the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilties (UNCRPD).
Speaking at the handover ceremony the President of the Harare Central Rotary club Mrs Anne Nyakunu ‘Initially these wheelchairs were meant for Harare but we then realized that there is more need for these wheelchairs outside Harare and we are now accommodating people from as far as Gokwe, Headlands, Victoria Falls, Zaka etc. This has been a humbling experience for us and we have realized that there is a serious need for wheelchairs in Zimbabwe.
She pointed out that people are born with some disabilities, while some are got through accidents and injuries therefore it is important to be helpful of those with disabilities as this can happen to anyone along life’s journey.
The selection of beneficiaries was done through churches and other referrals and it was clear from the recipients who were gathered that there is a need for wheelchairs across the country.
Mai Madzara of Kudakwashe Care Centre in Stoneridge was accompanying three children she is taking care of at her Care Centre. Asked how she got to know about the donation of wheelchairs she said she was referred through her church mates. Further asked how she started the care centre she pointed out that she was motivated by a desire to care and also the level of neglect and suffering that she saw in her community.
She said her major challenge at the moment is that the number of disabled people at her centre has increased and this was causing serious problems but she was very happy to have received donations of wheelchairs from Harare Central Rotary Club. Tobias Nyamugure from Stoneridge said his old wheelchair was no longer usable, and he was very happy to receive a new wheelchair courtesy of the Care Centre in Stoneridge run by Mrs Madzara.
Pretty who was accompanying her 2 year old granny said she fell five years ago and has not been mobile until she got this donation of the wheelchair after she was referred to the Rotary Club by some Dominican sisters at her church.