Seeing things differently

It would be easy to look at Tamara and focus only on the hurdles in her path – but communities are learning to see young people with disability through God’s eyes.

Tamara was born with cerebral palsy… and in Zambia, where people living with disability are routinely written off. Her mobility is limited and her mental ability meant she couldn’t attend mainstream school. Her own mother thought she’d never amount to anything.

And yet today, at 18, Tamara is living a fulfilled and happy life. She’s learning how to make doormats, aprons and hats so she can earn a living. She is confident and has good self-esteem. And all because someone saw her as God does, bursting with potential, even if not in the way the world defines it.

When Tamara first came to our partner Wukwashi’s Kabala support group, she could barely walk or use her hands. But there, she received physiotherapy and orthopaedic shoes, friendship and encouragement in spades. Wukwashi linked her with a Cheshire Homes school, where she excelled and even won awards; the vocational skills training she’s receiving in Ndola is also through Cheshire Homes

Her mother recognises this is God at work through Wukwashi and she’s thrilled. Her eyes have been opened to God’s perfect plan for Tamara.

Tamara’s community is looking on and learning too. The same is true for all 14 of Wukwashi’s support groups, including the newest one in Twatasha, Kitwe. They’re microcosms of God’s kingdom where families and communities learn to see children’s lives as precious and purposeful, rather than limited by human definitions of ‘disability’.