Giving a voice to the handicapped

It’s one thing to hear Sr. Emma and the other staff members at Chizombezi Deafblind Center talk about the impact their school is having on handicapped Malawian children. It’s quite another to hear it from the students who have gone through the program.

One of those students recently had a chance to share her story to a youth group in Malawi. Nolia Biziweck, who is now 23 years old, didn’t shy away from a blunt recounting of the struggles she’s faced:

I have been living a very lonely and isolated life in this community. I dropped out of school because of the bad treatment I was receiving in the schools. My friends at school used to mock me, calling me all sorts of bad names and accusations. My friend was only my mom because even my own brothers and sisters or relatives were discriminating against me simply because I am different from them. My disability has been a burden and a great obstacle to my life in such a way that I was always lonely, with no friend to share information with.

At Chizombezi Deafblind Center, handicapped students learn about God’s love for them.

At Chizombezi Deafblind Center, handicapped students learn about God’s love for them.

Today, I would like to let you all know that my life has now changed to something else I will appreciate forever. With this organization, I have new friends and relatives. Since the time I joined the youth group, my fellow youths have been so dear to me. I have never thought of having a best friend in my life, but my fellow youths from the Deafblind Center come to my home, play games together, share ideas and we do many things together without any problem. I have learned many things from the Deafblind Center; they have been training and teaching me many things which I never knew in my life. Therefore, if there is any parent here who has a child with a disability, I urge you to bring your child to our group so that he or she can associate together with us. I personally thank the Deafblind Center for what they have been doing for me.

I’d like to second Nolia’s thanks, not only toward the compassionate sisters who have given this young woman the love and acceptance she desperately needed – but also toward our Cross Catholic Outreach donors who have made this ministry possible. You might also be interested to know that Nolia is making plans to start her own small business! Your helping hand has also given her greater hope for the future!

-Tony M.