Maha has a hearing impairment.
It wasn't until she was a teenager that Maha began to learn sign language and could communicate with others. Once she started learning sign language at school she taught it to her family. There is no government support for deaf people and Maha had no work opportunities.
"My dreams have always been simple, just to meet my own requirements, to contribute to my family, and not to depend on others."
Disability activists have taught me handicraft skills and now I make items that we sell door to door. I also train other people in how to make them.
With the money I earn I can buy all the clothes I need, bedsheets for the family, and give financial support to my mother and grandmother.
My family are very happy when I buy things for them. They are surprised because they didn’t expect me to do so well. They still don’t expect me to contribute, but they are happy when I do."
"Most of my friends are deaf people I have met through our local organisation. We live close by and do a lot together. I have also made friends with people from other disabled organisations including for the blind and physically impaired - we eat together and pray together.
If I hadn’t joined the local organisation of activists, I would be bored, lonely and unhappy. I have made friends, we laugh together and I feel happy.
In the future I want to support my family even more."
Let's build movements together.
Millions of disabled people in Africa and Asia are still condemned to a life of poverty and exclusion. Right now, disability activists are working to fight discrimination and ensure every disabled person gets a fighting chance at living their best life. They urgently need your support.
Meet disability activists
When Itidal was 13, she caught a rare disease which affected her legs. She withdrew from everyone and went to live alone. When disability activists came to visit her at home, it brought hope where there had been none.
Minnie is a disability activist working for women's rights in Bangladesh. In an area where disabled women are vulnerable to all forms of violence, Minnie is working to protect and empower her community.
Tayba has a hearing impairment. In Sudan, there is no government support for the deaf. Tayba found community and support through a local group of activists and now is earning the money to help contribute to her family.