45. Eselina


So when I came into this community, this is where I found peace. Because here I am received by my peers and the neighbors in the community treat me well.

When I was little I developed a boil on my knee. They just got rid of it and then I became like this. They tried to break the boil and it developed like this so I couldn’t really walk. That is why my leg is crooked like this. My parents tried to help me. I was being taken care of by my parents when this started but I was taken to a shrine to find out if they could help me walk again. They took me several places and to the primary herbalist but nothing good happened. There was no avail so they just left me to my fate.

I suffered a lot of discriminations. Nobody wanted to befriend me, my friends used to abuse me with my condition, they used to insult me with it, and they teased me with it. The most difficult experience I’ve had is that I’ve always been abused in the midst of my friends. They beat me up. Whenever I accompany them to anywhere, they don’t want to befriend me. They don’t regard me as a human. I’ve gone through several discriminations in this community. So I’m not regarded as a human. That’s my most difficult moment.

I was in Damanko in the Volta region, in the Volta North. I had to escape to this place, or elope to this place, because I was being maltreated by my family and my peers. So I went through several discriminations – they used to beat me – and I went through several abuses – verbal abuse, physical abuse. I never had peace so I had to run away to Accra.

So when I came into this community, this is where I found peace. Because here I am received by my peers and the neighbors in the community treat me well. But in my village in the north, in Damanko I was being physically and verbally abused. That is why I ran away to the city.

What are the biggest barriers for persons with disabilities in Ghana?

The biggest barrier is the disability first. I think that because of our disability we cannot really work properly and nobody wants to employ us. So if you want to work, no one would employ you, even in the restaurants as a dishwasher. Even any menial job in this community, they don’t want to employ because of disability. So I think that the barrier for persons with disabilities in Ghana, in this area, is lack of job and financial constraints.

What would improve the situation?

If persons with disabilities are able to access funds, capital to start something, I think their lives will improve. Even though I have a disability I can work. I sell peanuts. So if I get good capital I can improve upon my business and my life can improve. Persons with disabilities should be financially empowered.

What advice would you give to another person with a disability?

I would advise a person with a disability to also learn a trade, to start something with their hands. I think that that will improve their lives.

How do you define disability?

Persons with disabilities should be empowered and I would describe disability as ability out of disability because even though I have a disability I’m working. So if you are able to motivate yourself and strengthen yourself, it’s there that somebody will also come in and support you.

What is your ideal job, if you could do anything?

My ideal job would be a seamstress. I’d like to start learning seamstressing or tailoring.

What is your best ability?

My ability is to learn a trade. I think I will do marvelously well in sewing. And that would be my ability.

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