Meet our dear friend and African Mother, Mai Kat Sande,
Mai Kat Sandi likes people to refer to her as Gogo, which means Grandmother in Zimbabwe’s Cultural language, Shona. Mai Kat Sande is the sole woman that made a stand in 1988 for people living with a disability to be equally treated, and have the same rights as everyone else in society. She formed the Zimbabwe Parents of Handicapped Children’s Association (ZPHCA) which has been her heart and passion for the last 20 years and is now recognised by the government. Through her hard work, which is all voluntary, she has encouraged & motivated families to come out and not be ashamed about having a disabled child. In many developing countries, people living with a disability are considered an outcast and often not accepted in society, leaving families embarrassed to take family out into public.
Mai Kat Sande has spent thousands of hours over the years traveling by foot to visit the families of the disabled children to make sure they have food and necessities that they need. Her income is barely enough to support her family plus extended families she welcomes into her home if they are also struggling! She would rather go with next to nothing than see someone with nothing at all.
Barely making $3 a day working countless hours at the market trading vegetables Mai Kat Sande, never gives up hope, she is a very strong, influential natural leader not only in the association but in general day-to-day life. Mai Kat Sande has been there every step of the way with us when we did our water projects in the Nyakudya village!
Gogo’s dream is to come to Australia and see how our country creates relationships with disabled people & the support we offer so she can learn and take these skills back to her country.
Mai Kat Sande is an amazing lady & we will always have a special place in our hearts for our African Mother and she is a great role model to look up to.