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From Poverty to Prosperity – empowering disabled people by with education

HHI supported Prisca Hatembo for many years. We first met her in a village in Zambia. As a disabled girl she was left to her own devices, unable to do anything.

So HHZ, our sister charity in Zambia, arranged for her to go to a special needs school. HHI paid the bills.

She was a bright girl, who wanted to become a teacher. So HHI paid for her to go to teacher training college.

She then joined the staff at the school at Muumba that we set up with the local community. We provided her with a small allowance – enough to live on. When the government took over the school, they appointed her as a teacher.

Prisca herself has a great concern for the poor. Some of the poorer families at the school cannot afford uniforms for the children. So in the school holidays she makes uniforms for them.

Our disability affairs coordinator in Zambia, Jonah Sialamono, writes:

“As a story writer on many positive impact on disabled persons, I do say, ‘Education is the only tool to combat poverty among Persons With Disabilities’.

“Lack of education has contributed to the suffering of disabled persons in Zambia who are among the worst affected by negative socio-economic conditions and face stigmatisation and social exclusion.

“They also face physical barriers to mobility and access to public buildings; and the more complex impediments to their enjoying essential services such as education and health care, which in turn affect their chance of finding jobs.

“The current situation in Zambia does not provide a context within which disability rights and the socio-economic entitlements of PWDs are likely to be paid much attention because the laws and policies such as the DISABILITY ACT OF 2012, Inclusive Education Policy and the Social policy
es among others are not implemented. This contributes further to the suffering of disabled and making the to rely on hand out and continuous perpetual Social Welfare Clients, a situation that makes disabled persons to fail to lead an independent life.

“But with Prisca, this is now history because as a physically female disabled confined in a wheelchair, Prisca is now in formal permanent and pensionable government employment working as a Teacher in the Ministry of General Educations. This has come to pass as a reality after the long time HHIUK education support starting from Junior and senior Secondary Schools and later early childhood education certificate at college where she was strongly encouraged to pursue the education.

“Having being employed, Prisca s no longer a dependant on Charity. She now gets a monthly salary and enjoys some conditions of service such as missing lunch allowance when on duty, night allowances when working away from the district. She is also entitled and qualifies to get a loan . She is also entitled to a good amount of money as retirement package when she retires.

“From the time she started working, Prisca, got a house loan and purchased a plot and built herself two houses. The biggest house she built with two rooms where tenants rent, while the separate house, which stands alone, is small and that is where she lives.

“So she has a double income. The first income is her monthly salary while the second income is her rentals that she collects from her tenants through house renting. Her next plan is to electrify her houses. This will let her increase her house rentals.

“As she is now, Prisca is now a model and her social status has been adjusted to that of respected and recognised very important person in society. She is a teacher. She is now a bread winner in the family.

“We wish her a very smooth path in life and as she plans to advance with her education.”

Our thanks to those who have contributed to HHI in the past so as to enable this young woman’s life to be transformed. You never know what will happen when you help someone!

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