Disability is not inability. Gone are the days when people with disability would be looked at as objects of pity.
Rose Nangwale, 35, from Mpoto Village in Area 7 Machinjiri Blantyre rose above her disability to empower herself.
With two children, she had to do something to provide for them single-handedly.
She did not realise much from her small-scale business selling samosa in schools and thought of training as a tailor at Chigonjetso Mwa Yesu Community Development Centre in Machinjiri Township.
“I desired to attain vocational skills and considering my disability, I thought tailoring was the way to go as I could do it while seated. My wish is to get my own sewing machine once I complete the training so that I am self empowered and able to employ others,” she says.
Nangwale is not the only one at Chigonjetso, as many others have already graduated with tailoring as well as welding and fabrication skills and are running their own businesses.
The centre is newly established, but a similar one in Mbayani Township has been operating since 2013.
Chigonjetso Mwa Yesu Ministries director Linnly Mbeta says people they have trained so far are doing well in their respective communities.
Says Mbeta: “I thought of empowering youths who are undergoing these trainings. We want them to become entrepreneurs.”
In hopes of running her own business one day, 28-year-old Kettie Kamphinde is training as a welder.
Mbeta, who is also an evangelist, advises that it is high time preachers moved away from just preaching prosperity and equip the youth with the skills to prosper.
“We need to think ahead. When they grow up, how will their families look if they are not empowered? As a woman, it hurts to see a child suffering.
“It has only been a month since we started the Machinjiri centre, but the students are so hardworking and passionate,” says Mbeta while admitting that they still need assistance to help their cause.
She says that at the moment, Technical Entrepreneurial Vocational Education and Training Authority (Teveta) has given them some of the machines required for the trainings and have rented others.