Disability activist to meet Obama

HARARE - Wheelchair-bound, Munyaradzi Samantha Nyereyemhuka who is passionate about education rights for the disabled will get a once in a lifetime opportunity when she meets US president Barack Obama next month.

The 33-year-old disability activist who beat thousands of applicants to get admittance into the prestigious Young African Leaders Initiative (Yali) programme is set to receive advocacy and leadership training at the University of Delaware in the US.

“Anyway I should take the risk if there is any risk to be taken. I should be adventurous and be able to explore,” said Nyereyemhuka.

The articulate Projects and Finance officer at King George VI Rehabilitation Centre in Bulawayo said she would not let her disability get in the way of the advocacy and leadership training she will get during the Yali programme.

“Being a person with a disability, not many opportunities come across and you need to be equipped with the right leadership skills, even advocacy skills, and when you get them on an international level, when you come back home, it is easy to articulate your issues and present them to the relevant people,” Nyereyemhuka said.

She said the training will equip her with skills that will help her to be a strong advocate for people living with disabilities, especially children.

“That’s one of the things I look forward to going to learn and being able to come back home and portray all my dreams perfectly because at times we tend to miss out certain things and not think outside the box and take important things for granted.  My passion is for children, and adults living with disabilities,” said Nyereyemhuka.

She said people living with disabilities in Zimbabwe were facing problems of accessibility, especially education facilities, limiting their opportunities to prosper in life.

“When you do a survey or simple research without having to go deep you realise that a lot of children and people living with disabilities are marginalised,” she said.

“Given the power, the major things that I would like to change is accessibility, especially Harare, it’s not as accessible. All schools should be accepting us so that the number of educated people living with disabilities can increase. Right now it’s at a very low scale as we have a few institutions that offer education to people living with disabilities.

“We have been communicating with the people from the university and they assured me that all the assistance I would need is there,” said Nyereyemhuka.

Comments (3)

Go , go , go for it our dear sister ! Your goal is great. Not many of us are that brave and determined as you are - especially bearing in mind that you are on a wheelchair. You do us Zimbabweans a great pride and I hope the young generation will emulate your sense of purpose. Good luck. May God bless you.

Chorosi - 11 May 2015

This is great sister. With you in prayer.

Barbara - 13 May 2015

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