Many people who live with disabilities experience disrespect within their communities—and even, sadly, from their own families. For someone with a disability, it can be difficult to earn an income, and the stigma they encounter daily makes it even harder.
For Monica, a 45-year-old living in Worinyanga, Ghana, this was the case. Monica contracted polio at a young age and lost partial use of one of her legs. Despite living most of her life with a leg deformity, she comments: “my biggest challenge goes beyond the impairment—it has been the negative attitudes and stereotypes of community members. I was treated with stigma throughout this community and even within my immediate family.”
PWS&D’s human rights work in Ghana focuses on helping family members of disabled people, and communities as a whole, understand that everyone has inherent worth. Educational sessions with small groups of people are gradually lifting the cloud of stigmatization. “My family and community members have been sensitized to treat persons with disabilities with dignity,” Monica shares.
The program also provides training and supplies for participants with disabilities to begin income-generating activities. Monica tells the story of how her life was changed:
“I received training in gardening skills and am now engaged in vegetable production for a living.”
As Monica looks around at her garden vibrant with onion, cabbage, lettuce, and other vegetables, she expresses gratitude—both for her newfound economic independence and for the change in the attitudes of the people surrounding her.
“The days of stigma and stereotypes are over. I am now treated with respect and dignity as I have economic independence. Thank you to PWS&D for turning my life around.”