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A gift from you today, multiplied by the New Zealand Government Aid Programme, can help many more people like Maya find hope and a purpose in life.
Maya, aged 36, is a single mother of four and the family’s only breadwinner. She lives in Medda Koiri Tola, a village in Uttar Pradesh, one of the largest and most populated regions of India. It is also home to the poorest people in India, most of whom rely on agriculture for a living.
Twenty-one years ago, when Maya was 5, she was infected by the potentially deadly Polio virus, which left her permanently paralysed, unable to stand or walk on her own.
“Like most people with disabilities, I faced insensitive comments and was excluded from much of the village life.”
Maya lost her husband to tuberculosis and the responsibility of raising her four children on her own was frightening. She had no marketable skills, no money and only a primary school education. She felt she had no options and was desperately worried about how she would be able to afford to feed and educate her children.
Maya tells her story of joining our cbm-supported disability-inclusive agro-enterprises organic farming project. “I was the first woman with a disability to join the group in the village and start working towards becoming independent and take on the role of ‘man’ of the house.”
The livelihood project has enabled Maya to become financially independent and she is a wonderful example to other women living with a disability who she teaches the benefits of organic methods and using chemical-free manure, as well as how to save money.
She has transformed her life through hard work, dedication and training from our cbm partner. She said “Hard work is important but with it one needs support for taking the right decisions and resources. I got these when I needed them most.”
One of the many advantages of the project is that of bringing individuals and community together to access government schemes targeted to the poor and people living with disabilities.
Maya is a great example of how this approach creates lasting change in the lives of people with disabilities. She receives a disability pension, has championed access to it for others in her community living with disabilities and has received financial support for housing and construction of a toilet through Government schemes.
Through this Government scheme, Maya now has a customised wheelchair-styled tri-cycle which enables her to travel to her field on the outskirts of the village where she grows vegetables, using customised tools. Maya owns her own solid wooden shop, located conveniently outside her own home, which was financed through a group loan and her own savings.
Our cbm partners have trained her in marketing and packaging organic spices, which she sells in her shop, along with vegetables and produce which she buys from other farmers in the area.
Our lilvelihood project provided financial security for Maya and her family and has established her as a strong voice in her community. Please help to transform the lives of the many other women living in disability by donating today.