I am Differently Able

WOMEN VOLUNTEERS FOR PEACE INITIATIVE (WOVOPI), directed by a young and vibrant lady, Grace Orao, believes that there is no greater disability in the society than the inability to see a person as more. Grace narrates her story about her dad who is an amputee since 2012 and how her perspective on disability changed. Through WOVOPI, she endeavors to inspire the young “disable” by creating a platform for them to showcase their talent. In a “TALK IT OUT” program, they share their emotions, worries and stories essential for trauma healing and mental awareness. Besides the aforementioned, other key pillars of the initiative include: non-violence, empowerment, human rights advocacy, and safe environments.

During the Miss and Mr. Joyland Special School event organized by  HUMBLE AFRICA alongside WOVOPI,  we met with  Charity Bright ,a class seven pupil and a contestant in the event, she says “life is beautiful when you accept who you are and work towards achieving your goals. There is much to smile about”. She emerged 2nd runners up in the contest.

member of WOVOPI posing with a differently able contestant

Mocking, discrimination, and isolation are some of the humiliations differently able people have to put up with

“I am going to live in this body forever and accept that this is who I am, born different.” Sinikiwe Kademaunga.  She talks of the challenges she has gone through especially between 13-16 years. Fortunately, this does not hinder her from achieving her dreams.

While some people will recognize their efforts, some look down upon them. These individuals work extra hard to live their dreams. Many will tell you they never knew how strong they were until they were left with no choice.

Disability from birth impacts differently when compared to one prompted with various circumstances such as accident. It hurts to realize that they can no longer participate in activities they used to participate earlier before accidents. But this is not true for Alex Zanardi, a car racer whose legs were both amputated after a crash. He went for his goal no matter the situation and won the gold medal.

Normal people get inspired when those disabled make it through this harsh life. They work hard to achieve something to replace what they lost. Think of Nick Vijicic, who is now 33 years old, with no legs and hands but still made it as the best motivational speaker. “People have impairments; it is the environment that disables them. Fix the environment and there will be no disability.” Jamie Knight.

Disable individuals contribute to the world’s economic and social growth. Helen Keller, Stephen Hawking, and Albert Einstein are a few examples that disability is not inability. They embody huge success in their various callings.  The environment we live in will always represent the life we live. Let us have a different view of people around us.  We should not make them feel unfortunate, helpless and incapable.

Lets us not discriminate but educate, they are able and capable of achieving anything .It’s not disability, it is ability.