The Herald (Harare)

20 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Minister Calls for Help for the Disabled

The corporate world should support the disabled so that they have access to education and vocational skills training, a Cabinet Minister has said.

Minister of State in Vice President Joice Mujuru's office Sylvester Nguni said the disabled should not be marginalised as they can also contribute immensely to Zimbabwe's economy.

He was speaking in Mhondoro yesterday during the hand-over of physical rehabilitation equipment to St John Matarutse Primary School.

The equipment, valued at US$18 000, was donated by the Australian government. It included wheelchairs, physical rehabilitation equipment, computers and accessories.

"Disability does not mean inability. The fact that these pupils are disabled does not mean that they cannot do anything for the country," Minister Nguni said.

"We have to give the disabled necessary support especially in education for them to realise their potential."

The Mhondoro (Mubaira) legislator said the donation would go a long way in assisting the pupils.

"It is going to provide a platform for the pupils to discover their capabilities unbounded by their disabilities. It will improve the lives and learning environment of the beneficiaries," he said.

"The disabled, just like the able bodied, should also benefit from all the empowerment programmes being carried out by Government throughout the country. Stakeholders in the education sector should continue to adapt this humbling nature of contributing to those in need to ensure educational development in seemingly marginalised areas of the sector."

Australian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Matthew Neuhaus said the equipment would assist pupils understand important and necessary life skills that would allow them to fend for themselves. He said Australia would continue complementing efforts by the Zimbabwe in assisting the vulnerable and less privileged.

"We came to visit the school and noticed the need of rehabilitation equipment in the school's rehabilitation centre. We collectively (Australian government and the Anglican Church) decided to identify the rehabilitation centres' needs and offer what assistance we could," he said.

Church of the Province of Central Africa Harare Diocese leader Archbishop Chad Gandiya encouraged Zimbabweans to adopt the spirit of unity by giving back to their communities through assisting members who required support.

"God created us all differently and we should learn to assist each other in whatever way we can to improve each others livelihoods," he said.

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