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July 5, 2023

Inspiring Advocacy to the government for supporting PWD with assistive devices

Recognizing the immense challenges faced by individuals with disabilities in accessing assistive devices in Nyabihu District, in April 2023 Caritas Rwanda through its Gikuriro Kuri Bose Program (supported by USAID), in collaboration with Nyabihu District, collected data on the prevalence of disabilities, the types of assistive devices required, and the financial barriers that prevented many individuals from acquiring these essential tools. Specifically, the assessment revealed that that 324 wheel chairs and 400 clutches were critically needed.

Basing on this information, Nyabihu District formulated a strong case for government intervention. As result, as for now, Rwanda Biomedical Center has provided 76 wheelchairs, NCPD has provided 100 clutches whereas Nyabihu District has provided 80 Clutches.

As soon as the 76 wheelchairs were supplied by RBC and received by Nyabihu District, Gikuriro Kuri Bose provided the transportation vehicle and led the distribution of wheelchairs down to recipients in different villages of Nyabu District, noting that clutches will be distributed in this coming July.

Ntibategera Bernadette, from Rambura Sector, was immobilized in an uncomfortable wood chair and was excited to receive the flexible wheelchair. This elderly woman, who had previously been relying on others for assistance, can now navigate her surroundings with ease. She regained the ability to move independently, allowing her to participate in various activities and engage with her community. Simple tasks such as visiting friends and family and attending social events have become feasible once again.

Ntibategera Bernadette, in her wheelchair.

GKB’s advocacy efforts transformed the lives of many people with disabilities. Individuals who had previously been marginalized and excluded gained independence and opportunities. They are now able to participate in education, employment, and community activities, thereby contributing to their social and economic growth and of the country.

This success story highlights the power of advocacy and collaboration between GKB and the government to effect positive change. By raising awareness, providing compelling evidence, and engaging in constructive dialogue, GKB successfully influenced the government’s policies and priorities. Through persistent efforts, GKB is transforming the lives of people with disabilities.