Winnie Nazziwa’s Testimonial

Small Things Matter

Monday morning, my eyes witnessed something which I will forever keep in my mind; the fact that small things really matter in our daily life. I visited a cerain workshop known as M.A.D.E. which stands for Mobility Appliances By Disabled Women Entrepreneurs. If you have not visited M.A.D.E, you are missing a lot.

This workshop is run by six distinguished, working on a quarterly basis. MADE came into being as a result of the UN 4th World Conference on Women held I Being in the year 1995. ‘Disability is not inability’ is the daily saying, which is true categorically speaking. These people co-operate with each and every person very well.

Talk about their wheelchairs? This is incredible, when you look at the wheelchairs made by ‘MADE’. Realistically speaking, it’s a nearly unimaginable for able-bodied persons, who imagine the disabled as idle or loitering on the street. What a challenge for these disabled ladies!

The workshop may seem small but it will go a long way in changing the lives of people with disabilities. The major objectives of the workshop are:

1) Enabling the shop participants to acquire skills for self-sustenance, thus lifting their standard of living.

2) Exposing them to various social, political and economic opportunities for the purpose of serving others.

3) Sensitizing the communities and government to recognize the importance of mobility and to take it upon themselves as a duty to provide mobility for effective integration in the society and for poverty eradication among PWDs (People With Disabilities).

MADE has been able to realize its goals through good collaboration with other organizations involved in aiding PWDs. These other organizations include International Donor agencies, UN affiliated Organization and International Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

MADE is the first organization by women with disabilities to venture in this male dominated economic sector. Though with limited and solicited resources, MADE has enabled more than 500 PWDs to mobility with the aid of either crutches or wheelchairs and have also acquired a car to assist in monitoring and mobilization

Constraints
The demand for wheelchairs can’t be met because of limited resources and high costs of raw materials. Most PWDs face extreme poverty and can’t afford a wheelchair or crutches on their own. The current premises are rented and too small to enable expansion of the workshop for faster and efficient production.

Vital Needs
Acquire land and build head office / central workshop and set up regional ones. It would help bring services nearer to rural-based PWDs. Most of their members are rural-based and hence the need for regular communication.

Facilities sought to include a computer fully installed with email and the like; photocopier; filing cabinet and a fixed telephone line.

Ladies and gentlemen, what many of us fail to understand is that ‘it is the small daily happiness, which makes us all cry with grief or scream with joy, that matters’. Listening to people, empathizing with them, offering a shoulder when they need it. Most of it doesn’t take much- or does it? Neither does helping MADE, in whatever means possible.

This should be something that encourages hope , lends a sympathetic ear. Ideally, we should all help those who are more disadvantaged. Unfortunately, in the fast-paced life today, we have become oblivious to whatever is going on in people’s lives; that we’re almost robotic in our mannerisms. We’ve become self-occupied; too concerned about beating deadlines that the human race is fading away.

At least let us try to make a difference by doing the best in our respective individual capacities. Offering to contribute to organizations like MADE might not mean anything to you, but it could end up providing the raw materials need to make several wheelchairs. Some people will always be rich no matter how much or how little they have. “For only what we give away enriches us day to day.

Unfortunately, I could not give much to the workshop, but I did give what little I had by buying a wheelchair. Actually , it was bought by my father in America and my Uncle, Mr. Kabuye Gordan. At the end of the day, I left a happy girl.

Myself, I am disabled and am writing this article in the hope that somebody will be compelled to give to MADE. In the end all that matters is the difference we make. Big or small, it doesn’t matter; if everyone made a small difference, we would end up with a big difference. “Blessed is the hand that gives than the one that receives.”
Nazziwa Winnie

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