Excitement was hard to contain, when a new diesel powered mill was delivered to L’Arche Harare, Zimbabwe. But for Farai, it was an especially big day: here he is doing his gum-boot dance in celebration! Farai, a disabled member of the community, takes great pride in his job in the mill house: he will be the man welcoming you as a new customer, loading a sack of sadza flour into your car; closing the gates again when the work is done; and giving the daily sweepings to the community’s chickens: nothing is wasted!
“We involve each member with a disability as much as possible in the work”, says Shine, an assistant. “For instance Enock loves using the hosepipe to water the vegetables. And Ivy, in spite of her serious disability, is an excellent candle-maker. These skills give them confidence and could even help them if they leave the community. And that is not all. Farai, Ivy and Enock are helping to change the way all people with a disability are viewed in our country. Those whose families we are in touch with see the change in their children. They are amazed to see their child washing plates, sweeping the floor or using the bath room on their own. But it is not all hard work! Last year, Judith, one of our members won the 100m race at the local Special Olympic event. And quite a few participate in a dance festival every November.”