“There is nothing as discouraging as having to depend on other people for movement", Mr Lejone Semuli (50) reveals. "Whatever you want to do at any given point, you have to call for somebody‘s help to move from where you are. Even more disheartening is when I have to board public transport. Everybody will be allowed into the taxi and I will be left out because I am a burden".
After receiving a free mobility cart from world Vision, Semuli could not contain his emotions when he recalled how stranded he has been since his wheelchair had become too old to help him.
“World Vision is God-sent. The free mobility cart has rescued me!", he exclaims. "I have been a burden to people whom I ask for help, and even if they do come to assist , it is always about what's in it for them. They always look for benefits that that they can get out of helping us."
Semuli further adds that, in some instances, he has had to spend more money than he would just to hire a taxi to help him. Thankfully, things are going to get much easier, as he is one of the 10 beneficiaries of free mobility carts donated by World Vision.
Speaking on behalf of World Vision during the donation, Advocacy and Justice Manager Maseisa Ntlama indicated that the organisation is working hard to ensure marginalised groups are taken care of so that their children do not find themselves burdened staying with disabled parents. She further indicated that the gift is meant to ease their movement to access various services, but most importantly help people living with disability to feel valued and part of society.
Disabled persons in Lesotho are among the most marginalised and disadvantaged groups in the country. They are often forced to be dependent on relatives or other care-takers. The Lesotho National Federation of people Living with Disability (LNFOD) estimates that 65% of people living with disability depend on their immediate families and neighbours for their livelihood.
Among the challenges they face, according to the federation, is access to education –which becomes a challenge because the infrastructure in most cases denies them access. In addition, out of the percentage of the unemployed, disabled people are at the top of the list. Access to health services is also another challenge that still needs to be addressed.