BY TATENDA CHITAGU
A MASVINGO-BASED disability rights advocate, Henry Chivhanga has launched a campaign to raise US$10 000 to help the physically challenged communities.
Dubbed COVID-19 disability relief fund, the money is set to benefit 200 people with physical challenges to navigate through the disruption caused by the global coronavirus pandemic, provide psycho-social support and the setting up of a crisis response centre.
Chivhanga, who is also Disability Amalgamated Community Trust (DACT) president, said the fund will be administered by the disability rights organisation and coordinated by a diverse group of people with disabilities (PWDs) and human rights defenders.
“We are announcing the launch of the #Covid19DisabilityReliefFund. Round one of the campaign seeks to raise US$10 000 that will go towards providing urgent food and personal protective equipment (PPE) assistance to 200 PWDs and their families and setting up the first crisis response centre,” Chivhanga said yesterday.
He added: “Persons with disabilities (PWDs) are disproportionately affected by any pandemic. Without any social protection measures from the government, PWDs are finding life more difficult and need urgent help!”
DACT is also seeking food donations as well as advocacy materials compatible with PWDs for them to know more about the disease.
According to Unesco, 7% of Zimbabwe’s total population lives with disabilities. The common disabilities in Zimbabwe include but are not limited to, down syndrome, dwarfism, visual and hearing impairment, dump and cretinism.