Mzuzu Youths Lead 'Pamoza Project' for Socio-Economic Inclusion of People with Disabilities
Launched in August 2023, the project seeks to dispel stereotypes and empower the underprivileged with information and job opportunities.
MZUZU, MALAWI — A group of passionate youths in Mzuzu is driving the charge for socio-economic inclusion with the launch of the "Pamoza Project," a project aimed at reaching over 150 individuals with disabilities with transformative messages to empower them, writes Mustafa Makumba.
Launched in August 2023, the project seeks to dispel stereotypes and empower the underprivileged with information and job opportunities, fostering social inclusion in their communities.
"We aim to close the gap between those with disabilities and others to create an inclusive society which will level the playing field for all thereby improving their lives," said Chimwemwe Banda, a founder of the initiative.
People with disabilities have long faced disparities, including unequal job opportunities and prejudicial treatment.
The Pamoza Project is actively challenging these norms and aiding individuals with disabilities in realizing their worth within society, contributing to the broader development agenda.
Going beyond the provision of information, the project aspires to bring together individuals with various disabilities, such as the physically challenged, those with hearing and visual impairments, and people with albinism, fostering synergy for the realization of collective goals.
"Though I am a well-trained tailor, I failed to execute my skills freely due to some negative comments from other people," said Peter Magombo, a physically challenged resident of Mchengautuba.
"But now, due to the Pamoza Project, which aims to bring all of us together for a collective benefit, I have now developed a mantle to be a productive citizen in the country."
Margret Nkhata, another beneficiary facing mobility challenges, echoed Magombo's sentiments.
"The initiative has empowered me to secure opportunities in the dynamic market, leading to socio-economic empowerment," she said.
The Pamoza Project collaborates with established organizations such as the Federation of Disability Organizations in Malawi (FEDOMA), Malawi Council for the Handicapped (MACOHA), and Technical, Entrepreneurship, and Vocational Education and Training (TEVETA).
This collaborative effort ensures a coordinated approach toward achieving impactful results by acting as a bridge between persons with disabilities and key institutions aiming to assist them.
The multifaceted approach of the project includes providing information on business training, facilitating access to financial services, and equipping advocacy groups with knowledge and skills for enhanced networking and collaboration.
Through these efforts, the Pamoza Project envisions a more inclusive society where individuals with disabilities can realize their full potential.