"Peer trainers helped me to not feel alone. We support one another. It helps a lot." Shamimu, Tanzania

Shamimu is 28 years old and lives in Arusha in North Eastern Tanzania. Seven years ago, Shamimu was involved in a serious car accident. The impact of the crash severely damaged her spine and has left her unable to walk.  

Currently living at home with her four children, her husband is based elsewhere on the hunt for work. With no stable family income, Shamimu and her children depend wholly on support from friends and neighbours - though these relationships are fragile. Feeling discriminated against in the local community, Shamimu told us that she believes her neighbours view her and her family as a burden and tire of her continued asks for money. She explains:

I don’t feel I have a disability, but the community think differently. I am happy with myself.

No longer able to afford tuition fees, her children are not currently attending school and are missing out on an education. Shamimu continues:

We are struggling financially. We can’t pay the rent and the landlord has threatened to evict us. I feel very confused and have no idea what we’ll do. None of us have eaten since yesterday.

Before we met Shamimu, day to day life was a struggle:

I had given up - I wanted to commit suicide. I felt very alone. Peer trainers helped me to not feel alone. We support one another. It helps a lot.

Home and hospital visits from Motivation Peer Trainers, like Faustina, have helped to turn Shamimu's life around. In addition to receiving emotional support and making new friendships, guidance and personal advice from our Peer Trainers has boosted her confidence and empowered her to get on in life. Not only does Shamimu now have the skills to carry out her personal care independently, she is also reaping the benefits of daily stretching and exercise techniques to help maintain her health:

I used to have to travel to Mt Meru hospital to get my intermittent catheter changed. This cost me 10,000 Tsh (£3.50) which was a huge challenge. Since the peer training, I know how to change my catheter myself. I am very happy for this. It’s a huge relief. I have also learnt about the importance of daily stretching and how to manage my bowel and bladder.

For Shamimu and her family, things are finally looking up. Shamimu's new found positivity has enabled her to take the steps needed to return to life before her accident. She has plans to support her family once more:

Before the accident I used to cook snacks like chapatti and samosas so I’d like to do this again. I need something to keep us going. I want to start up a small business.

Find out more...

Want to find our more about our Peer Training work? Head to our Tanzania page to get the full picture.