Coronavirus: My Story
Learn about the experiences of people with disabilities around the world during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Coronavirus: My Story gives a platform to people with disabilities to share their experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic. These 8 short video diaries, made by women and men from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal and Zimbabwe give a snapshot into some of the range of challenges being faced by people with disabilities in different parts of the world, and also the ways that the Disability Movement can play a valuable role in responding to the crisis.
For more information about the campaign, read this blog by our Chief Executive Kirsty Smith.
Abu is a market trader from Kolapara, Bangladesh, who has a visual impairment. He talks about the challenges feeding his family while he can’t trade during lockdown.
Jakir is a member of Jono shokti self-help group in Bangladesh. He has a physical disability and used to run a small convenience store thanks to loans from the self-help group and the government, but he currently has no source of income.
Nazmul and his family live in a flood prone area in Bangladesh. Unable to continue their business during lockdown, resulting in no income, they cannot prepare and protect their homes against such disasters. Nazmul is General Secretary of Dakhin Creeper self-help group for people with disabilities. He highlights the many dangers facing people with disabilities due the coronavirus outbreak.
Progress is a member of CBM’s partner the Zimbabwe Council for the blind. She is facing financial instability due to the coronavirus pandemic, as she can no longer teach students at her home and most families cannot afford to use online methods of learning. As a person with albinism, she is particularly sensitive to sunlight, but the cost of basic household items like suntan lotion have been rising steadily.
Timothy is the Director of CBM’s partner, the Zimbabwe Association of the Visually Handicapped. As a Disabled People’s Organisation, they have been inundated with calls for help during Covid-19, as people living with disabilities are at the very edge of survival.
Saputra is working with Bandung Independent Living Center in Indonesia, to support people with disabilities affected by the coronavirus outbreak. He’s found that, personally, lockdown is affecting his mental health due to loneliness, boredom and fears around Covid-19. As someone with visual impairment, he also faces challenges due to physical distancing.
Sinja is working at National Federation for the Disabled in Nepal, CBM’s partner, which has been supporting people with disabilities during the coronavirus outbreak. She highlights that a lack of medicines and sanitation items are causing more panic than Covid-19 itself. Due to lockdown restrictions, she is unable to go to hospital for her regular physiotherapy.
Tekraj supports women with disabilities in his local community through the programme being run by CBM and our partner Nepal Disabled Women Association. He explains how lockdown has been impacting his work as a community outreach worker. Tekraj’s mother passed away recently, during lockdown, and he was unable to carry out the usual death rituals.
At times of crisis, people with disabilities are often among the worst affected and the last to receive help. CBM is working with partners, local governments and Disabled People’s Organisations, to ensure that people with disabilities are included in Covid-19 response – and that their voices are heard.
Thank you to all of the individuals who have shared their stories with us, and to our partner organisations, Centre for Disability and Development in Bangladesh, Zimbabwe Council for the Blind, Zimbabwe Association for the Visually Handicapped, Federation of Organisations of Disabled People in Zimbabwe, Bandung Independent Living Centre in Indonesia, National Federation of Disabled Nepal and Nepal Disabled Women's Association, who have helped us share these stories.