Ghanaian entrepreneur Lariba Apuwendib spends her days weaving a beautiful material called kente. Thread by colourful thread, she is challenging a culture that says she can’t have a bright future.

As a small child, Lariba did not have the opportunity to go to school. Instead, she stayed with her mother and father as they farmed their fields. A bout with polio at the age of ten cost Lariba the use of one of her legs, further limiting her prospects for future employment.

A staff person from the PWS&D-supported community-based rehabilitation program in Garu connected Lariba with the medical care she needed. Although she would not regain the use of her leg, through this program Lariba received vocational skills training. Now her business selling locally-made cloth means she can provide for her husband and five children.

Living with a Disability

Lariba smiles after weaving kente cloth in her shop. Photo: PCG

In Garu, women living with disabilities are among the most vulnerable. The daily challenge of poverty is compounded by prejudice against their gender and superstitions about the cause of their disabilities.

For over three decades, the Garu Community Based Rehabilitation program has helped many people with disabilities access health support. It has also put education and sustainable livelihoods within reach. As communities have begun to understand disabilities, the rights of those living with them have been increasingly recognized.

Lariba is thankful for the impact the Garu Community Based Rehabilitation program has had on her life. “While expressing my gratitude,” she reflects, “I appeal to you to continue to help people with disabilities out there to enable them to have an improved quality of life.”

Banner photo: Lariba Apuwendib weaves kente in her shop in Ghana. Photo: PCG