“Last week at Neema Crafts, we called 40 people with disabilities from far and wide across the Iringa region to attend a special presentation ceremony of PET carts. We invited the Regional Commissioner, local radio and and newspapers as well as the Chairman of the regional ‘Chama Cha Walemavu’- the govt. department for disability. Some attending (like Ayub, left) had never before had any form of personal mobility and had always had to rely on members of his family to move him around.
“There was an air of joy and excitement in our conference room, as people arrived one by one (some from many kilometres away) and we shared sodas and popcorn together. The presentation began by welcoming everyone to Neema and explaining the work of the centre.
“Time was then spent explaining exactly where the PET carts had originated and we even showed pictures of the construction team in Minnesota. There was a large round of applause when we said that these trikes had been donated and shipped for free by Easter and Trinity Lutheran churches!
“Haruna our disabled ‘fundi’ (or technician) was on hand to explain the important features of the bikes, what could be adjusted and how to use the brakes etc. We then emphasised how to stay safe on the road, after which the SHIVYAWATA Chairman spoke with great enthusiasm about this chance to meet together and show solidarity with other people with disabilities from across the region.
“Finally, it was time to distribute each of the carts. There was quite some interest from passers by and guests in our restaurant as they saw all of these carts being presented.
“The best moment for everyone I think was when we all set out on the road for a parade through town, around the large fruit and veg market, past the police station and post office and then on for a final huzza in the park.”