"The most important thing I learnt was that people with disabilities have rights too."

Patuma lives in a small rural village in Malawi, surrounded by rocky landscape and miles away from the nearest town. When her two children were small, she contracted tuberculosis of the spine and lost her ability to walk.

As a disabled woman living in a rural region, Patuma found it incredibly difficult to find any help or support. Her wheelchair was flimsy and unsuitable for the uneven ground around her home, and she didn't have the confidence to venture out into the village.

Without information about how to look after her health, she developed life-threatening pressure sores and could not manage her bladder. Without mobility, she became reliant on her family to help with the simplest tasks and was soon isolated from the wider community. Without information about her rights, she lacked the knowledge she needed to stand up against stigma and discrimination.

In just a few months, her independence was stripped from her and her confidence vanished.

But her life changed when she received a new Motivation Rough Terrain wheelchair. The sturdy three-wheel design helped her navigate her surroundings with ease, and she was able to get outside again. The wheelchair gave Patuma so much hope for the future, but she still lacked the confidence to leave her home on her own.

So Patuma attended Motivation peer training where she met her mentor, Bentot, who was also a wheelchair user.

Bentot has been working hard to inspire other wheelchair users since he was paralysed in a car accident. When he and Patuma met for the first time, she instantly felt more relaxed and less isolated from the world around her.

I can trust Bentot, because he knows what I’m going through.

Throughout the peer training course, Bentot and other trainers taught Patuma extra mobility skills so she could use her wheelchair with confidence. They spoke to her about managing her bladder and preventing dangerous pressure sores. And she was able to meet several other wheelchair users, which helped her to see she is not alone.

What's more, she was given important information about disability rights so she would have the tools she needed to stand up for herself.

With encouragement from Bentot and the other trainers, Patuma regained her confidence and learnt the skills she needed to become independent again.

The most important thing I learnt was that people with disabilities have rights too.

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By supporting Motivation, you could fund the training of disabled people like Bentot so they can change the lives of new wheelchair users like Patuma.

Help someone regain their confidence and independence today.