Mucklenuck villagers in Bubi district of Matabeleland North are asking for assistance on behalf of an eight-year-old orphan born with disabilities.
BY BENSON DUBE
Thandekile Zulu is in need of a wheelchair with a bowl for relieving herself as she cannot crawl to the Blair toilet when she goes to school. Her family depends on handouts from equally struggling villagers in the area.
She was born with leg disability which affected her from the waist to the toes. She is occasionally left alone in the homestead when other children walk to school 3km away. She enrolled at Mucklenuck Primary School this year and her aunt used to carry her on her back to school every day.
She had to stay at home after her aunt got married and now receives little assistance. Thandekile at times crawls to try and follow other children to school, but covers little distance.
According to a villager Themba Gumbo, Thandekile‘s mother died soon after giving birth to her and left her with twin sister under the care of the aunt. After getting married, the aunt left the twins under the care of villagers.
“MaZulu died soon after giving birth to the twins and they were left with their aunt who has gone to get married. These children are now looked after by villagers. As you can see we are equally suffering,” Gumbo said.
A teacher at the school (name supplied) said she wished Thandekile could go to a special education school since she is bright. Her future is bleak because of poverty.
“I hope you saw her. She is bright. I wish she could go to a school with facilities for people of her disability, but her future is doomed because of poverty.
Children from the village at times tell us that Thandekile tries to crawl to school. The infrastructure at this school has not been designed for her. Worse, the Blair toilet cannot serve her,” the teacher said.
Assistance can be sent to Mucklenuck Primary School, annex to Queens Mine Primary School in the district, or by telephoning Gumbo on mobile number 0739 554 171.