Malawi Woman With Disability Regains Her Independence Through Newfound Accessibility

Patuma is an incredible woman with a disability.

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She lives in an isolated and rural village in Malawi with her children but unfortunately, she caught tuberculosis around her spine and as a result, she could no longer walk. Patuma had a very difficult time moving around her village with her wheelchair because it was not suited for tough terrain. The wheelchair was all she had available and slowly Patuma no longer traveled into the center of town. As a result, she became dependent on her family to help her and her children and though she was grateful, her confidence diminished.

When we gave her a special rough terrain wheelchair, Patuma’s life changed completely for the better. She was now able to travel outside her home but there was one thing still stopping her— her confidence. Without exposure and information, Patuma felt out of place so she attended our peer training program where she met her another wheelchair user and mentor Bentot.

I can trust Bentot, because he knows what I’m going through.

In the peer training program, Patuma learned critical mobility skills, how to better her health and meet others who also used wheelchairs.

The most important thing I learnt was that people with disabilities have rights too.

Sadly Patuma is not the only one who suffered in isolated areas far from medical centers and professionals. As many as 80% of individuals with disabilities live in isolated rural areas in the developing countries. At least 350 million individuals with disabilities live in areas where disability-related services are not available. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 27 million women in the U.S. have a physical disability.

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EquallyAble is dedicated to helping and empowering not only children but adults of all ages. We are dedicated to creating new and effective ways for accessibility to local schools and universities. Quotes/Pics taken from our amazing partners at Motivation UK