In a country where almost half of the population is out of employment at any given time, what are the chances a school drop-out will find a job?
In a nation where people walk long distances to church services, what option is there for someone who is mobility impaired, and weights too much to be carried?
In a realm where people must carry their groceries long distances from the store to their village, how can one that is impaired carry things and crawl along the road at the same time?
It is a land where school children often walk 10 or 12 kilometers just to get to school, then at the end of the day the same distance back home.
It is an all-too-common problem. Reaching what seems like the end of your life before you are out of your teens. Closed inside a mud walled, thatched roof, dark, damp, and dingy jail house for what may the rest of your life. Friends disappear. Hope fades, hopelessness sets in, and there is no place and no one to whom you can turn. Your family can’t help you, the village can’t support you. You drop out of school, out of life, out of touch. You don’t leave the house, and even when you do try to go outside, crawling on the ground is your only option. Rain, mud, dirt, dust, animal, and dog (You know what).
Your father is the song leader at a local church, and you try to hang on. You focus on crawling, crawling, crawling for nearly a mile to where he goes. Then one day you crawl all the way to Madisi, a 15-minute drive from your home, but literally hours for you to crawl.
While you are away the team from Action for Progress reaches your house. Who are they? What do they want? Why are they here? You wonder many thoughts as you crawl back toward the house, watching these guys who have come to visit. You reach the house worn, weary, and thirsty. It is just too far. You are exhausted.
Then something is said. Something is done. Something is unwrapped from the box. Everything changes in a split second. The exhaustion begins to leave you. They say they have come to bring you a new mobility unit with which to get around. Get around. No longer on the ground. Like my friends get around. In a moment all of life turns, turns from the deepest form of darkness to a delirious form of excitement. Now what can I do? I can do anything!
“I think I want to start a grocery store,” says young Mpahatso Watson of Dowa. “That is what I will do. I will start a grocery store.”