Hajir finds hope

Hajir Aden from Atheley village, Raya location is a father of 6 children, 4 girls and 2 girls. He is the chair of the disability group in Atheley, he is also a member of the project management committee in Raya and also a member of Atheley water committee. Hajir was born with a disability and has managed to live with it despite the discrimination within the community. Getting employment has been a nightmare to him and fending for his family proved unsatisfying. He mostly used to depend on the wife who owns a grocery shop in the village that collapsed and they stayed at home and wholly depended on the community members and well-wisher’s donations to sustain his family as he had no means to look for something to feed his family.

When ADSE started to work within the Atheley location, Hajir and other group members were trained on the importance of working as a group of people with common interest within the community. Due to the discrimination this gave them a platform where they would interact and help each other grow both in the group and individually. With the help of ADSE through the department of social service through the national council for people living with disability office in Garissa, the group was trained on group dynamics, table banking, and savings as well as how to create both group and individual income generating activities. This training was an eye opener to Hajir and was now more informed that even people with disabilities could live a good life without being dependent on neighbors as well as well-wishers.

Hajir restocked on his grocery business and he collects farm produce to the shop that has been running well and sustaining the family. The grocery business was flourishing well though it was affected by the floods that hit the farms in April, forcing Hajir to purchase the farm produce at a slightly high price unlike from the farms. The proceeds he gets from the grocery and food shop is what sustains his family with and has felt the change in his family’s lives and he is happy that his children can now access 3meals in a day. Hajir intends to use the acquired knowledge to improve his family’s livelihoods and other group members too. ADSE linked Hajir and the group members to the national council for people living with disabilities and youth enterprise funds where both agencies allow group and individual credit services. Hajir has applied for a grant from the national council for people living with disabilities and awaits his response where he intend to expand his business and impact on achieving other business enterprises that makes him an optimistic person.

Hajir appeals to the community and other stakeholders to engage the people living with disabilities in more community activities, promote equality in all activities as they are vulnerable and want to benefit too. He seeks to have more psychological support to boost their confidence and improve their lives just like other members in the society. Hajir yearns for a future where every vulnerable member in the community feels comfortable in exploring the opportunities that are available without feeling less privileged than others.