By Meritt Buyer
Transportation is one of the major barriers for children with disabilities. You may be familiar with the typical African public transportation; 25 people crammed into a 16 passenger van with bags of rice, chickens, and all manner of things. To say public transport in Moshi is not accessible would be a substantial understatement.
It is also financially prohibitive to most of the BCC families. A typical ‘daladala’ ride within town costs less than 20 cents. Yet, that amount prevents families from taking their children to the doctor or to school. For example, even though our Promot Health program provides free medical care to all BCC children, often families cannot access it because they cannot afford the cost of transport.
And then there are the roads. The main roads in Moshi are well paved. But anything off the main roads, including the majority of the BCC centers, are on deeply rutted dirt roads that can become impassible during the rainy season.
When Mosaic and BCC first started planning for the Young Adult program, we knew that addressing the issue of transport would be key to the success of the program. We needed a way for the young adults to get to the farm and to get young adults from different centers together for group activities.
Thanks to the generosity of donors, BCC was able to purchase a 12-passenger van that is tough enough to mange even the worst of the Moshi roads. Mostly, the van is used to transport the Young Adults from the centers to the farm, and it is key to the success of this program. It has also been used to bring young women from more remote centers to the workshop on women’s health, transport wheelchairs that needed to repair, and distribute trampolines and beds. Addressing the issue of transportation is key to providing services to children with disabilities throughout the region. BCC is pleased that we have been able to make one small step towards improving access for our children.