Nearly everyone faces hardships and difficulties at one time or another, but for people with disabilities, barriers can be more frequent and have greater impact. Paralysis is the most severe symptom associated with polio because it can lead to permanent disability and death. Yunusa Aliyu, 28 is one of such victims who has lived a life of pain and discomfort having suffered from polio since childhood. Living in Lokoja, Kogi state, Yunusa was abandoned to fend for himself at a very young age due to his condition and in the face of stigmatization and rejection; he resorted to begging as the only alternative to survive.
At age 24, Yunusa decided to start a business. With little or nothing, he started selling soft drinks, which he would collect on credit from shop owners and resell with little gain. In the course of his business, Yunusa took ill and spent all he had on medical bills after which he became bankrupt.
This situation led him into debt and depression, but little did he know that God was about to smile on him. Weeks later after his sad ordeal, Yunusa encountered the team from The Leprosy Mission Nigeria who interviewed and selected him as one of the participants in a skill acquisition program. At the end of the two-days training, Yunusa was supported with cartons of soft drinks and cartons of bottled water to boost his trade. This intervention is in line with the objectives of the EDPOSD project, which is to empower community members with vocational education and basic assets for income generation.
Today, Yunusa has added the selling of recharge cards to his soft drink business and both businesses net in about #2,300 daily. Mr. Yunusa Aliyu thanked TLM-Nigeria and her partners for the support and prayed that God will strengthen the Mission and partners in all their endeavors.