“During my daily commute, I suffer enormously with the transportation problem. For me it is the greatest obstacle in my daily life. It is impossible to take the bus, because they are not wheelchair accessible nor are there reserved seats for people with disability. Regarding Taxis, they do not accept to stop for me, because they either do not have a large trunk to carry my wheelchair, because 90% of taxis are small (Fiat Unos), or they do not want to take the time to do it.
The worst days are the days of winter, when I have a class at 8 am, and I remain in the rain waiting for the bus. The first one comes packed with people, the second and the third too… I usually take the fourth one. I climb with great difficulty, with the help of some kind souls. After all this mess, I make it to class one hour late tired and exhausted. Fifteen minutes of rest is essential, so by the end I only have 45 minutes left to follow the class, that is if I can of course understand (laughter).”
Adil NIDAE – 29 years old – translated from French.
An individual with a disability is a person with reduced mobility due to a reduction in their ability to move. This may be caused by genetic defects, diseases, accidents or age. Disability can also be temporary during the healing phases following an accident or a fall. It goes without saying that, when not dealt with properly, reduced mobility significantly limits the autonomy of such individuals. When looking at the quality of life of people with disabilities, we must consider the effect this reduction in mobility has on their mental and emotional well being. Many times we focus on the immediate physical situation caused by disability, and do not spend enough time looking at its psychological repercussions and its impact on the daily life of people with disability.
People with disability face multiple challenges which may directly and indirectly impact their health. Some of these challenges are socio-economic. For instance, they have to account for costs that other people do not (wheelchairs, adapted bathrooms, speciale care…etc). They also struggle to find a job that would take them and accommodate their disability. This is very much related to the socio-cultural challenge. Indeed, the costs related to dealing with disability leads many families to perceive their own child as a burden on the family. Some even hide their kids out of shame. This leads to significant emotional scarring. Such children grow up with very low self esteem and feeling unwelcome. Socio-relational challenges have to do with social inclusion. Many however face inaccessible public transportation (buses, trains, taxis…etc), sidewalks, buildings and much more.
When we analyze the quality of life and its relationship with both mental and physical suffering, we start seeing ways to manage the conditions of life and the living environment of people with disabilities. We find ways to adapt the environment in order to help them cope with their disability or illness. We must also help them regain the capacity to enjoy their life and not be held back from living a pleasurable and fulfilling life. Naturally, this depends on each individual’s lifestyle and the way the person with reduced mobility may or may not choose to live by.
To fight against the feeling of social discrimination, to fight against personal, professional and social failures, to combat social withdrawal and suffering; we must facilitate the reconstruction of the social bond, wherever it may broken. We must encourage anyone with reduced mobility to resume their role in our communities. We need to support their objectives and meet their expectations and concerns. This is an important component of both the physical and psychological state of people with disability. By catering to their needs, disability starts to disappear, they become more and more independent and reconnect with their communities.
A big part of one’s quality of life depends on the ability to move around the city comfortably and without difficulty. Going to work, continuing one’s education, going shopping, finding access to healthcare, participating in cultural events as well as recreational activities should all be made accessible to suit their needs and desires by adapting the different settings in which they take place. Therefore, the improvement of the living conditions and the quality of life of people with disability is everyone’s responsibility! Governments sure need to step up, but it is also the responsibility of various associations and organizations to make both private and public spaces accessible. This is why there is also a clear need for system and institution to protect the rights of the differently abled. Some countries are doing very well in this regards while many around the world are still lagging behind.
Morocco and the rights of people with disability:
Morocco is one of these countries that are still lagging behind. Even though Morocco is committed to regional and international treaties, to respect and uphold the rights to adequate care and the rights of people with disability; unfortunately very little is seen on the ground.
The situation of disabled people is not at all reassuring. Morocco is far from doing enough as the rights of disabled people are still overlooked. Public transportation is not accessible, nor are sidewalks, buildings…etc. People with disability also face frequent discrimination because of their condition. This deprives them of the simplest rights such as education, employment, and health. They are as Moroccan as any one of us, yet are ignored in public policy, and instead of helping them, the language adopted by society contributes to their stigmatization.
People with disability in Morocco suffer every day with transportation. It is a nightmare they have to face day in and day out. Adil Nidae is one of such people who face this struggle.
There are several cases like Adil’s in Morocco, who decided to go out and persevere despite the many hurdles in their way. However, the near majority of people with disability give up and decide to just live at home. This is at times a personal decision, but is quite often imposed by family and loved ones. They stay home to not “disturb” anyone, and avoid the hurtful looks of society.
Loss of mobility in Morocco remains in the shadows, and looked down upon. This is the result of the exclusion of disabled people from society, and lack of services aiming to improve their quality of life.
Is is for these many reason that is why it is our duty to relieve disability and facilitate social inclusion of people with disabilities. This in order to impact their quality of life and improve their psychological and physical health.
What are we doing about this?
Dinavie is a Moroccan social enterprise that is here to solve the transportation problem people with disability face. Everyday, people in wheelchairs, the elderly with mobility problems, blind people and more struggle to get around. By providing them with the opportunity, just like everyone else, to move freely and benefit from a quality care and transportation suited to their needs; we enable them to regain an active social life. We want to provide services to improve the mobility of people with disability. We want to promote their autonomy, their social integration, enable them to access primary care, to work, get educated, partake in cultural events and above all have fun and be happy!
How can you help?
We are raising money to acquire a wheelchair accessible car to provide the above mentioned services. We will use special tools to make it a breeze to transfer them from their bed to a comfortable wheelchair, then onto one of our wheelchair accessible car. We then take them wherever their heart desires or schedule the day out for them.
We have raised $4,539 so far out of our $21,000 goal. Let us stand together to improve the situation of people with disability in Morocco. Every donation count however big or small. Please help us by donating and spreading the word about our campaign. Let us help people with disability. Tomorrow it may be a friend, a family member or even us…
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