People with disabilities say religious groups should be educated on their belief that disability is not linked to evil spirits.
“There is need for a series of awareness for the pastors and church leaders so that they appreciate that disabled people are not there for charity. You would agree with me that churches believe that being disabled is related to evil spirits.
“You hear most of the churches adverting that if you come to their church the disabled will be healed ,”Masimba Kuchera a visually impaired youngman who leads the Centre for Disability Development, an organization which is still at an infant stage told RelZim in an Harare Tuesday.
Kuchera said these are some of the issues which his organization will be dealing with when it gets funding.
“Plans are underway to engage church leaders and tell them that we are not charitable cases”, he said.
In Zimbabwe there are cases where marriages broke after a woman gave birth to a disabled baby.
Communities have also accused each other of witchcraft after the birth of a disabled baby with relatives turning on each other over the same issue.
Kuchera said having discovered that other than cultural issues affect people with disabilities his organisation will among other things create a platform for young people with disabilities to participate in socio-economic and political processes in Zimbabwe.
“We want to train youths with disabilities on leadership and good governance, lobby for reform in areas of the law that discriminates or works to the disadvantage of young people with disabilities.
“We also wish to mobilise young persons with disabilities to be registered voters that can vote and be voted for and enhance their participation in public issues. This cannot of coarse happen if we do not invest in research on barriers that hinder the meaningful participation of young women with disabilities in decision making processes,” Masimba