Seeing things differently
It would be easy to look at Tamara and focus only on the hurdles in her path â€“ but communities are learning to see young people with disability through Godâ€™s eyes.
Tamara was born with cerebral palsyâ€¦ and in Zambia, where people living with disability are routinely written off. Her mobility is limited and her mental ability meant she couldnâ€™t attend mainstream school. Her own mother thought sheâ€™d never amount to anything.
And yet today, at 18, Tamara is living a fulfilled and happy life. Sheâ€™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 Wukwashiâ€™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 sheâ€™s receiving in Ndola is also through Cheshire Homes
Her mother recognises this is God at work through Wukwashi and sheâ€™s thrilled. Her eyes have been opened to Godâ€™s perfect plan for Tamara.
Tamaraâ€™s community is looking on and learning too. The same is true for all 14 of Wukwashiâ€™s support groups, including the newest one in Twatasha, Kitwe. Theyâ€™re microcosms of Godâ€™s kingdom where families and communities learn to see childrenâ€™s lives as precious and purposeful, rather than limited by human definitions of â€˜disabilityâ€™.