Community education|Clean water & sanitation|food and nutrition security
It was one accident, one moment, which would transform the life of 45 year old Esnath - robbing her of her independence and leaving her trapped inside her home in a plastic garden chair. The journey back to self-sufficiency would take far longer.
Esnath Tschuma trapped her foot in a fence while in a field, fell and instantly found herself paralysed in both legs – her shattered bones leaving her unable to walk without crutches. Without access to a wheelchair, she had to make do with what she could – a piece of plastic furniture which added to her misery, depression and feeling of hopelessness.
“I suddenly felt like I couldn’t do anything, that I was helpless”, Esnath recalls.
“After my injury I just spend a lot of time sitting around doing nothing.”
At this point, feeling she had reached her lowest point, fate turned against her once again.
Her husband travelled to South Africa to look for work, promising to send his disabled wife back wages to support her. Despite all the promises, the money never came.
Since then Esnath has been relying on money from her brother and the kindness of her neighbours in order to survive. She had to turn to the sale of her own personal items, like used blankets and dresses, to buy the essentials – food and medicine.
Esnath lives in Tjompani village in Bulilima District, Zimbabwe with her 13 year-old nephew Tandana. After her accident she was no longer able to perform most of her daily activities like fetching water, collecting firewood, or farming. Cooking over an open fire on the ground became a particularly uncomfortable task - but one she refused to give up.