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COVID-19 lockdown had far reaching effects on disability communities

Young People with Disabilities

By Tendai Guvamombe(Bindura)

Following the empowerment of young people with disabilities in Mashonaland by Development Aid from People to People(DAPP), the effects brought about by COVID-19 proved to be a stumbling block on the economic progressions of young people.

Spotlight Online News Africa made a follow up on the extent at which youths with disabilities were affected by the global pandemic particularly on their economic projects.

Zimbabwe is among countries that ratified and domesticated United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and recently scaled up disability mainstreaming with the launch of Disability Act. This opened the avenues for the empowerment of persons with disabilities so that they see inclusion in all sphere.

Aliness Lameck Chairperson of Trojen Rural One, a youth with disabilities organization told this news crew that after receiving a civic education from DAPP they went ahead in an attempt to implement self sustainable projects which were derailed by COVID-19.

“After receiving civic education from DAPP we decided to formulate our own disabled persons organization called Trojen Rural One. We then move on to venture into the manufacturing of washing soaps and washing powder. However we were nolonger able to continue with our new mode of business because public gatherings were nolonger being permitted.”

Tinashe Zvorwadza Chairperson of Manhenga Kubatana echoed similar sentiments saying that COVID-19 affected thier poultry projects as they lost market as people were being restricted from moving to township centres.

“COVID-19 came at a time when we were about to sell our chickens from our poultry project but we failed to make it as people were nolonger able to buy from us due to lockdowns. This was the most difficult aspect.”

Zvorwadza resorted to partition the chickens among the group members inorder to attract new market from different places.

According to Christine Edward a member of Bindura One said some of the young people with disabilities participated in virtual workshops for learning, networking and knowledge sharing. This was also ideal for them to discuss ways of surviving during COVID-19 period. The limiting challenge is that some of the YWDs could not participated during virtual workshops due to lack of gadgets.

“Most young people with disabilities participated in the virtual workshops during lockdown period. This assisted in information sharing and networking as well as discussing ways of surviving during COVID-19 period. How ever the limiting factor was that some of us lacks having proper gadget inorder to join virtual meetings during COVID-19 lockdown.”

Tendai Guvamombe
the authorTendai Guvamombe