Name: Mewba Asefa Mohammed
Disability Type: Blind
Marital Status: married (a mother of one child)
Department: Civic and ethical education
Cumulative GPA: 3.8
Address City/Town: Dilla town
Current Job: Graduate assistant two in Dilla University. Currently I am also studying my master’s degree in the field of International relations at Hawasa University.
Contact Address: 0910 612625
The Way To Success:
The EMPOWER project which is in the third year of implementation phase has enabled me to enhance holistic development. To substantiate it more, the various type of trainings given as part of co-curricular activities such as disability and inclusion awareness, life skill, SRH, leadership and entrepreneurship or job hunting skill areas had brought positive impact to my current profession and job career development. To mention some of the positive impacts brought on my side, it includes:
- Enhanced my self-actualization and gave me high value to my own identity. I proved that I can make a difference as a female and as female with disability. I can be a role model for other female with disabilities.
- Enabled me to be aspired: to get ready for further post-graduate studies. That is why, I decided to study International Relations as master’s program quitting my job in Dilla University. This means, I taught courses in the academic year 2020 during the occurrence and wide spread of COVID-19 globally. Then I registered to carry on my second degree at Hawasa University since 2021.
- Because of EMPOWER project, I decided to begin a new life experience. That is marriage, which is one of the spices of life. Accordingly, I married who was my boyfriend since We were junior secondary school students in Wollaita Sodo. Eventually, I have my first child while I am attending first year master’s program in the academic year 2021. Currently, my husband who is a secondary school civics and Ethical education teacher in one of secondary schools in Dilla town has equal role and responsibilities with me for health care development of our child. We shared tasks to provide required fatherly and motherly care and support.
- Made me Open minded
- Gave me an opportunity to conceptualize disability and inclusion;
- Assisted me to shape my vision and highly motivated how to self-actualize and academically competitive in the World of job;
To sum up, the empower project planned and implemented in collaboration with HEIS has brought a significant positive impact mainly in creating a good opportunity to accept my disability. As a result of this project, I understood that disability is a diffence like other traits such as gender, ethnic, culture race and others. I also confirmed that as a person with disability, I perceived that we can change the map of the negative world to positive provided that persons with disabilities are empowered. The project also increased my insight to live for the benefit of the others. As a result of this project, I have developed the habit of enjoying planned way of life experience in the last five years.
Challenges faced during campus life:
It is obvious that, persons with disabilities due to their disability and femaleness face double psychosocial and environmental burden. It is well known that such type of wrong perception also negatively affect the learning situation in campus. One of the manifestations for such kind of scenario is that primarily, Instructors and classmates yet do not have positive image to PWDS. That is mainly to females with disabilities. Secondly, communities in the University assume that female with disabilities are not capable academically and socially responsible to interact with others. Thirdly, they also perceive that female with disabilities are poor in time management to handle study schedules. Fourthly, they developed wrongly formulated opinion that female students with disabilities need supported from the charity-based point of view not from human right. As a result, to counter balance and confront such type of ill perception, I have to invest more time, energy and pray for God to give me strength. That is to be ever winner. Eventually, I confirmed that I am among the list of few female with disabilities who got a turning point victory over defeat.
Methods used to overcome the challenge:
- Make myself psychologically ready that I should not be defeated to community based stereotypic and exclusionary practice in the campus.
- Exploit my extra potential to sustain my high school resilience and indulgence. That is mainly to walk out of environmental and social barriers that sustained to challenge me even in my current academic status.
- Maintain academic smartness and decision making power to get acceptance and recognition by others.
- Give value to time management
- Develop team spirit
Social life at university:
Social life is one of the basic requirement of human being to carry out ones own life in a simple and meaningful way. As a result, it needs to be smooth and easily correlate with others, in order to sophisticate our today’s and future life time. Accordingly, the life skill to be gated in the campus, greatly maters our future social life, since the diversity of languages, colours, religious, behaviors, understandings and attitudes reflecting in the campus are the good opportunity to learn more from them and tolerating with those differences, has its own important role in our life.
To mention some of the social skills, I incultivated it includes:
- Promote desirable inter-communication with my class mates and colleagues.
- Develop civic engagement and voluntary service to students with disabilities in the campus and residence.
- Opened mindness to accept differences
- Promoting social responsibilities or arranging get together programs to visit community members. That is attending social events such as birth days, weeding’s, funerals and graduation ceremonies.
- Fund raising: to rehabilitate people who are victims of internally displaced persons.
Life After Graduation:
Right after graduated in Bachelor of Arts degree, I have an opportunity to be assigned as a graduate assistant. This opportunity is gained with the scholarship opportunity given by Special Needs Education Support Center. Under-graduate students with disabilities were given a chance to employ in the University. As a result, I am one of the beneficiaries. I also have been married and got first child. I also got scholarship to continue master’s program in the field of International Relations in Hawasa University.
My future goal is to contribute an intellectual input as one of the researcher and academician in the area of International relation and its impact on situation of persons with disabilities particularly in the Horn of Africa.
Message for the others:
For persons with disability;-
We, the persons with disability, shouldn’t under estimate our selves because, disability is not inability. We can think, perform, decide, act, and achieve our goals, since we are a part of a society. We have a capacity to serve our selves, family, and country with the extent to not less than those persons with out disability.
Hence, we have to care and value our selves, being responsible, obey others right, and force others to obey our right.
For persons with out disability:
Persons with out disability should correct and review their negative attitude and negative believes on persons with disability. We can not be sure about our future for not to be disabled. Or no one wants to be a disable person. But, knowingly or un knowingly, disability will be occur by different natural and human made factors. For this reason, protecting, respecting, caring, and valuing persons with disability, should be the responsibility of every individuals.
For governmental and non governmental organizations:-
In my view, it is not only persons with disability, that needs special training and awareness on the inclusiveness and empower project, but those individuals with out disability needs to be aware and be positive minded on their negative attitude on persons with disability. I believe that all responsible stake holders has a big assignment on working to change the mind set up of others negative attitude on persons with disability, including governmental institutions.
Finally, I want to assure that ‘’disability is not inability’’
THANKS FOR GIVING me THE CHANCE