April 20, 2024

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People with Disabilities in Musanze District Thrive Through Employment

By Iradukunda Elizabeth Isabelle

In Musanze District, some individuals with disabilities are defying societal expectations and choosing to work instead of relying on begging to support themselves. These individuals are demonstrating their ability to contribute to society and provide for their families through various jobs.

One such individual is Uwimana Pierre, a man with a leg disability who supports his wife and four children. When interviewed by Topafrikanews.com at his workplace, Pierre emphasized that being disabled should not hinder one’s ability to find meaningful employment. He encouraged others with disabilities to be courageous and seek out careers that enable personal growth and financial independence, rather than resorting to begging.

Pierre shared, “The work I do allows me to take care of my family and provide for my children’s education. I urge people with disabilities to be proactive in seeking opportunities and not be discouraged by their circumstances.”

Another inspiring example is Uwiringiyimana Olivier, a 36-year-old shoemaker who is deaf but can still speak. Olivier developed his disability at the age of six and has since pursued self-employment as a means of personal development. Despite his hearing impairment, he has honed his skills as a shoemaker and takes pride in his work.

Olivier explained, “I acquired this hearing disability later in life. Although I cannot hear anymore, I can understand others by reading their lips. After graduating from high school, I became an electrician but struggled to find employment. Eventually, I learned the art of shoemaking, which has provided me with a stable income. If I can acquire the necessary tools, I believe I can further expand my business and improve my craft.”

Uwitonze Hesron, an official responsible for the inclusion of people with disabilities into national programs in Musanze District, stressed the importance of including them in government initiatives. He encouraged self-employed individuals to collaborate and form groups to accelerate their development.

Hesron stated, “The district supports young people with disabilities by providing them with skills training through partnerships. We encourage them to come together as professionals in the same field and work collectively, as it is more challenging to succeed individually. By presenting a unified front, it becomes easier for donors to offer assistance.”

A comprehensive census is underway, which will last four months to gather accurate information and ensure that every person with a disability is accounted for. This data will enable more individuals with disabilities to be included in support programs.

According to the National Institute of Statistics (NISR), Rwanda has a total of 391,775 people with disabilities, comprising 3.4% of the population. Of this number, 174,949 are men and 216,826 are women, as reported in the fifth national census.

By showcasing their determination and resilience, people with disabilities in Musanze District are proving that they can contribute meaningfully to society through employment rather than relying on charity.

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