By Thomas Faranando

Atipaishe Masarakufa received an early Christmas gift of walking calipgers from ZANU PF aspiring councillor for Ward 5 Kadoma central as part of his social responsibility.
The aspiring councilor, Evans Maruma paid US$500 for Atipaishe’s walking callipers, designed school shoes, food and traveling expenses.
Evans Maruma says he now understands that children living with disablities have the same rights as any other child, with dreams and desires to fulfil.
“As I was doing my door-to-door campaign I met Atipaishe and I was touched with his condition,” Maruma narated.
“As I was talking with my new friend, Atipaishe told me that his dream is to become a doctor. As we talke I discovered that children with disabilities are often excluded from opportunities to participate fully in their communities, and are more vulnerable to violence and abuse,” Evans further explains.
“Children living with disabilities are among the most marginalized and excluded groups of children. Compared to their peers, CwDs, largely due to systems and environmental barriers including stigma and discrimination, are often excluded from the mainstream health, education, legal support and other social services.
“Atipaishe’s condition challenged me to support as well as promote equal access and opportunity to all children in my Ward and Kadoma at large,” said Maruma.
Speaking with this publication, Joshua Banda who is the chairperson of Voice of the Disabled, said children living with disablities are more vulnerable and disadvantaged hence they need support.
“Maruma’s gesture shows that he is committed to disability-inclusive sustainable development. He showed people living with disabilities love and this love definitely creates an inclusive environment for us as people living with disabilities,” said Banda.
“Children living with disablities require love, prevention, early detection, access to treatment, care, assistance, inclusion and protection,” he added.
Banda called upon Kadoma residents to join hands with people like Evans Maruma and the president Emmerson Mnangagwa-led government to build a better future for every child in Zimbabwe.
Atipa’s teacher, Mrs Maromo added her voice saying people living with disabilities desire independence, freedom of choice, full and active participation in all areas of life and society.
“Children with disabilities need love and support. I am grateful to Mr Maruma for helping Atipaishe have walking calipers which will enables him to walk,” she said.
“Mr Maruma demonstrated how leadship should do to create an inclusive environment for all. May the almighty God bless, Mr Maruma,” she added.
The Zimbabwe Disabled Persons Act Chapter 17:01 view disability as a human rights and developmental issue.

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