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Boli to host paralympic competitions

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Boli to host paralympic competitions




Boli Primary School in Chiredzi South Constituency will next Friday be a hive of activity as over 100 children living with disability will gather for Paralympic competitions.

The children will be drawn from about seven schools in the constituency.

Sponsored by the Research Hub for Children with Disability (REHUB CD), the celebrations will be returning following a two-year break caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has ravaged economies and bartered people’s living conditions.

Speaking ahead of the event, REHUB CD founder member Dr Olivia Gumbo said they chose Chiredzi South because it is remote and is also one of the most marginalised areas in the country. 

“Initially, the whole idea originated after my personal interaction with one woman who lives with disability and comes from that place. We picked on Chiredzi South as a pilot constituency because of the marginalisation of the area and it is mainly inhabited by a minority community in the country. 

In terms of radio, they do not access Zimbabwean stations but rather those from Mozambique and South Africa. Most children drop out of school before writing Grade Seven examinations to join the trek, especially into neighbouring South Africa, and Mozambique as illegal immigrants, often without identity documents as research has shown that about 25 percent of children who live there have no birth certificates,” she said.

After they get into South Africa and Mozambique, they start sending groceries home, making the mode of survival back home consumptive. 

“Our major thrust for now is to ensure that we gather evidence as REGUB CD and do reports to share with the government so that they respond appropriately to the needs of the people living with disability,” she said, adding that often times, when people think of helping people living with disability, they rush to get wheel chairs without checking on whether it is what they need and whether they are appropriately made for the specific terrain.

She added that there are about eight different categories of disability which include visual impairment, hearing and speech impairment, physical challenges and mental retardation among others.

“As such responding to these different categories of challenges must be done from an informed position. That is where REHUB CD comes in. We gather evidence of how many people live with disability in the area. We work with the Chiredzi Chapter of the Jairos Jiri Association and the local leadership.    

“This year, for me the celebrations will be in two ways since my birthday falls on the 25th. I will be turning 42 and I felt that the proceeds of the sales of my book It’s For You Lord could come in handy in funding the programme. As a result, there will be prizes and trophies to be won.

She said this will be day to remember because the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic are there for everyone to see. Owing to the limitation of travel and movement, most civil society organisations failed to get assistance to Chiredzi South. Some individuals, including children living with disability, could not travel to Chiredzi town to get medication.  

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