- A tale of a mother who had lost hope struggling with a disabled child
By Elias Hakizimana
When Speciose Mukankubana begot her first born, Daniel Niyomukiza in September 2012, the world to her was complete, the son, her only child alight her life with hope.
But Mukankubana bore a sharp haunting past that comes to explain her current struggling life with her son who was born physically disabled. After getting pregnant by a man she looked upon to provide and embrace her with love for their unborn child- Niyomukiza, he instead abandoned the pregnancy.
“I could only remember the day that man impregnated me,” the sobbing Mukankubana explains with efforts to hold back tears.
She adds, “I thought the world had ended on me, many bad thoughts came into my head.”
The thinking about her child in the womb continued to give her hope, that one day, the child will be her inspiration, and however it never stopped the course of the struggling-life.
“After giving birth to this child, I suffered from poverty and life was threatening me as the community discriminated me. I could not easily get food for my son; what I could manage to do is to cultivate for neighbours to get little money to buy porridge for my child,” she said.
Despite her happiness to have a child, she struggled to juggle between raising him and going out to look for financial capacity to nourish him. The mother lives in the suburb area of Bumbogo sector in Gasabo District where, a big part of population depends on agricultural activities.
Giving birth to a totally-physically disabled child who is now 8 year-old, the mother was alone, always surviving under poor conditions and without a shelter. She was forced by neighbours to reject the child saying ‘it is a cat’ but the mother stayed calm and showed parental spirit to raise her son.
The eight year-old little boy can only hear and speak as the rest of his body is totally disabled. He can neither seat nor move. It means that her mother carries him whenever and wherever she moves to.
Mukankubana says she used to struggle to go outside for part-time jobs to find money to nourish her son because she was homeless and could not find a place where her son could stay when she is far from him.
“When I moved away, I used to let him inside the old house we were living in and close,” she said.
In her endless thoughts of how the hurdles will end up, Mukankubana with other needy families got a good Samaritan ‘Love With Actions’, a local organization that partnered with the sector’s authority to build decent shelters for them and equip them with food commodities.
She was handed a house with a bedroom, a saloon, and a store with outside water tank, kitchen garden, toilet and bathroom, food commodities as well as a goat.
With a smile, she thanked the organization and partners who successfully though and implemented the idea to comfort the needy.
“This house will help me to achieve a lot, I am a strong woman with arms and legs and I will manage to look for jobs, leaving my son in a good and safe house.” She said.
Mukankubana is currently in the third Ubudehe social category and benefits from Mutuelle de Santé (the government’s health insurance scheme).
Speaking to The Inspirer, Gilbert Kubwimana, Executive Director and Founder of Love With Actions said that the organization is looking after 41 children with disabilities from 40 families in only Bumbogo sector.
“Most of these families are made of single mothers whose spouses abandoned them. Among them, we have managed to build houses for four families of eight who are homeless. Some reside here at our headquarters and we managed with the sector’s authority to build a four-in-one house. Two families have children with disabilities and two benefited from these facilities in line with the government’s initiative to relocate needy families from the high risk zones in a program dubbed ‘Human Security Issues’.” Kubwimana noted.
A welcome note
Florentine Uwamariya, an official in charge welfare at the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) lauded the efforts by Love with Actions to achieve this initiative. “They currently help us to cater for, to give opportunities and help persons with disabilities to move from hurdles,” she said.
Regis Mudaheranwa, Deputy District Executive Administrator of Gasabo District told this news paper that they are building houses for needy families to ensure no one is left behind.
“In fact, we are building for needy families and we will start general activities in Nduba Sector as of July 4th, 2020. Some of the beneficiaries have permanent disabilities. We are building 168 houses and around 90% are in ending process,” he said.
There are no statistics yet to determine the number of persons with disabilities (PWDs) countrywide but NCPD affirms that many of PWDs still encounter various problems.
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