Speaker 1:

I have a message for people who, like me, have disabilities. You are capable, you are able to contribute and participate, you have something to offer.

Speaker 2:

Mourine was not always blind. Around 10 years ago, she suddenly became ill and was treated for malaria. Even today health authorities are unsure what went wrong as the batch of what they thought to be anti-malaria medication ravaged her entire body and took her sight.

Speaker 1:

People around me grew suspicious, saying it wasn’t normal for me to all of a sudden go blind. They started spreading rumors that I was in a secret cult.

Speaker 2:

Tragically Mourine’s father and brother passed away soon after, and instead of condolence from the community, the news only increased speculation, and she was stigmatized by many, even members of her own family.

Speaker 1:

When I lost my sight, my life completely changed, to the point where I was asking myself whether I could even go on with my life. I couldn’t do the things I used to do before. So, with the state of things then, the only solution to all of this that I could see was for God to take away my life.

Speaker 2:

Thankfully Mourine was given an opportunity to attend development workshops for people with disabilities, offered by CBM’s in-country partner. It transformed her life. She applied for a small community loan, which she used to purchase a pig, rearing the piglets to sell at market. From there she saved and invested in her own palm oil business, which is going well today.

Speaker 1:

That workshop transformed me and taught me that I still had a contribution to make in my family, and in the community in which I live, and it taught me that disability isn’t inability, and that I was still capable in life. And I left the workshop back day with joy within me, that I can’t put into words

Speaker 2:

Today Mourine is an integral member of her community, and fights for the rights of people living with disabilities, whether that be rallying local authorities, or challenging cultural beliefs and stigmatism.

Speaker 1:

Now if I’m asked the question whether I would like to regain my sight or to stay without my sight, I would prefer to stay without my sight, because within three years I’ve become empowered, and enjoyed life so much than I ever enjoyed life while I had my sight.