Unwavering family support is a source of confidence and courage for many people with and without disability – a strong support system is usually found lacking in the lives of Women and Girls with Disabilities on account of gender and disability. However, in the communities of Swinga 2 settlement camps, the families of Ayikoru Jamillah and Tokara Alima have been nothing but sources of peace, security and empowerment for these Women with Disabilities.
I am Ayikoru Jamillah aged 27 years formally married but separated two years now with two children. I live with my family /parents and children in Umba village.
Since I left my marriage, my parents hold meetings to tell other family members to give me peace now that I have returned home. They tell my brothers and sisters-in-law that I didn’t choose to be disabled. I also participated in the NUWODU, NUDIPU and other partners talks on GBV and the reporting mechanisms.
With the knowledge, I know where to report GBV cases for example I will report any GBV case against me first to my family, then to the elders, PWD leaders and in case it fails then to police. There are times PWD peers tell me to wait until the same happens again which I should obey.
My brothers encouraged and advised me to go for the training and escorted me to the main road to get transport and it was my first time to attend such a training. Since it was for Women With Disabilities, I got interested to participate.
The organisations and staff opened my eyes on GBV issues because what they shared were real issues. They were also friendly. I am interested in forming groups to train other Women With Disabilities and I want to become a Paralegel to support those who suffer violence.
I am Tokara Alima 35 with physical disability, married with 7 children aged 19 to 3 all are in school. I live with my in – laws; parents and brothers-in-law.
Sub county leaders usually talk to the community about different issues including disability specifically treating PWD’s with respect. My father in- law occasionally calls all family members to tell them to treat me well since I am the only woman with disability in the family. When my husband married a second wife and moved to Yumbe town, my father-in-law encouraged me to feel free to live in the family which gave me the courage to continue living with my in-laws even when my husband does not support me.
I encourage every woman with disability not to focus on her disability and community attitude towards us but exhibit their potentials for the community to understand disability is not inability.
NUWODU trainings had translators for us the illiterate, friendly facilitators encouraged me to open up and freely share issues that touch my life, unlike other trainings where everybody is part and we were alone. My life has changed and I am happier than before.