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Jigiya - Our New Mali Friends

A Few SA Questions and Answers from Jigiya
 
SA Question #1: What is your dream for your organization? What do you hope to accomplish together?
Jigiya Answer # 1: Jigiya dreams of making a better life for its members. At present, Jigiya has 240 members. It does not receive funding from any other government or non-governmental organization. It has no funds. We get together to encourage each other to be as productive and happy as we can be. Before Jigiya, many people with disabilities in the Markala area stayed in their homes, to embarrassed or self-conscious to go out.Jigiya greatly appreciates the contact and support of SANYS. You are the first organization EVER who has offered us any attention or assistance. We are very happy about that. Thank you.
 
SA Question # 2: What could our organization do to help Jigiya?
Jigiya Answer # 2: To help us make better lives for ourselves, we could use work materials. Although our members have varied skills, we are virtually all underemployed if not unemployed. This is due to discrimination against us, and our lack of funds to start businesses. Therefore, nearly all Jigiya members are beggars at sometime. We must ask others for food and other necessities of life in order to survive.

SA Question # 3: Are there people with developmental disabilities involved in Jigiya?
Jigiya Answer # 3: There are 18 people with developmental disabilities in Jigiya. 150 people have physical disabilities. 60 people are blind.
 
SA Question # 4: Do you meet with leaders of your government?
Jigiya Answer # 4: When we go to government offices to meet, they ask us to leave without talking to us. They do not want to be bothered with us.
 
SA Question # 5: How are people with disabilities treated by members of the community in Mali?
Jigiya Answer # 5: Jigiya members are discriminated against, ignored, and looked down on. When we apply for jobs, we are refused. Our parents tell us to leave their homes because they cannot afford to continue caring for us. We cannot get health care because we are too poor to pay up front, and there is not government health program for us. (Stephen comment - POVERTY is the underlying issue. Remember that on average, Maliens earns $2/day. Average family size is around 8.)


 
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