Over coming barriers by empowering persons living with disabilities
People in Bentiu are not only navigating the complexities of historical conflicts but also grappling with the transformative impact of recurrent flooding, which has ushered in a new set of challenges. Despite these formidable hurdles, individuals in Bentiu are tenaciously adapting to their altered circumstances.
Yet, for those living with intellectual, emotional, or physical disabilities, the journey becomes distinctly more challenging, though not impossible.
These individuals face additional layers of difficulty as they strive to carve out a life amid the ongoing transitions and uncertainties. The intersectionality of disability and the unique set of barriers it poses can intensify the struggle for inclusion and equal participation in the community's recovery and adaptation efforts.
Persons with physical disabilities in Bentiu face obstacles on a daily basis. The lack of accessible infrastructure compounds their difficulties, hindering their mobility and participation in daily life. Public spaces and transportation remain largely inaccessible, posing substantial challenges.
The consequences of these barriers can be profound, leading to lower self-esteem, diminished independence, and limited opportunities for personal growth.
To ensure their inclusion and well-being, DRC is empowering individuals living with disabilities through inclusion in all areas of intervention.
In the town of Bentiu, Puok Chiek Chiek, a resilient 35-year-old male living with a disability, is a great example of the transformative power of inclusion.
With support from DRC through the USAID-funded project Complimentary Action for Resilience Building (CARB), Puok embarked on a journey of growth and opportunity.
His destination? The DRC's Farmer Field School, an initiative designed to nurture agricultural skills and instill a sense of purpose within displaced individuals and host communities in Bentiu regardless of their physical inabilities.
Through the Farmer Field School, Puok didn't just acquire knowledge and skills; he unearthed his potential to be a positive force in his community.
With determination, he, alongside a group of 50 like-minded individuals, tilled the soil of a 2.5-acre plot. They continue to cultivate a rich diversity of crops seasonally, from succulent tomatoes and eggplants to hearty cassava and sweet potatoes, among others.
Their collective efforts not only provide sustenance for their families but also inject vitality into the local economy.