[By Ms. Aya Noguchi, Lusaka] Goal Localised Event and Kicking AIDS Out Sessions were held in George Compound on 23rd of March, I had some discussions with members of Miracle Disabled Group to learn more about their work. NOWSPAR have been working with Miracle Disabled Group since 2012 as one of NOWSAR’s chapter as well as social inclusion program with handicapped people through sports.
George Compound is located on the North Western side of Lusaka, where is one of the places that many handicapped people are gathered because of low accommodation fee and living expenses. Miracle Disabled Group consists of more than 300 members both elderly and young men and women with varied ranged of age between 12 years old and 60 years old. The main purposes of the organisation are lobbying and advocating for development and implementation of policies of protection of handicapped people as well as engaging civil society in their activities.
NOWSPAR has supported the group in ensuring that they have a sustainable sports structure that gives everybody in the community an opportunity to participate sports and physical activities and received some benefits from them. Sports and physical activities haveempowered member of Miracle Disabled Group and given them energy and socialize opportunities.
NOWSPAR had opportunities to conduct informal interviews with Ms. Bernadette Mindeo who is General Secretary of Miracle Disabled Group and two young male participants from community based football team, who were in the Kicking AIDS Out program.
Interview to Ms. Bernaddette Mindeo
Ms. Mindeo demonstrated her application to NOWPAR’s support to her organization. She mentioned that NOWSPAR has brought energy and motivation to handicapped people. For them, it is very difficult to create new networking and socialize with people from outside of their community. Therefore when NOWSPAR conducts some activities, those handicapped people get opportunities to meet new people and create new networking with people from outside. She also explained how much sports have benefited to their life. Sports create opportunities for them to be included in their community and society. They are able to enjoy watching sports activities and playing some sports such as Netball, Volleyball, Football, Chess and Darts with other community members who don’t have handicap. These opportunities have empowered handicapped people and provided them better life. Since NOWSPAR has supported them to become sustainable organization, our supports are flexible according to their projects. NOWSPAR believes that whether people are disabled or not, everybody with passionate about changing their community better, can become good community leaders and sports has power to move forward the initiative.
Ms. Mindeo participated in the Digital Story Telling project by NOWSPAR and WomenWin listen to her story here.
Interviews to two young male participants from Kicking AIDS Out program
Two participants demonstrated high interest to become facilitators of Kicking AIDS Out. They are also member of community-based men’s football team. They are looking for an opportunity to make positive impact on their community. He explained that there are a lot of graduated young men who can’t find any job opportunity. They have been empowered by the people from Miracle Disabled Group and how much influence they have been given by handicapped people. They believe that they can do a lot more for people in the community as the 40 years old handicapped lady has given through sports. They were guided to discuss with Ms. Mindeo from Miracle Disabled Group as well as NOWSPAR representative for future support possibilities. Ms. Mideo also showed some interests to work with group of young men and encouraged them to create a women’s football team in their club. This is one of the model cases how handicapped women encouraged young non-handicapped men to become community leaders through sports.