The mantra that the human spirit is one of perseverance and courage that no disability can take away is what political and student activist Brian Ngutjinazo believes in. He is passionate about assisting fellow students living with disabilities.
Ngutjinazo, a student living with disability, is pursuing an MA in Sociology at the University of Namibia (Unam), focusing on labour studies and trade unionism. He also holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelors of Arts (Honours) from Unam.
As a volunteer at Unam’s disability unit, he says he runs around almost every day for students living with disabilities to ensure they are treated humanely and that they would be brought on par to compete fairly and justly on main economic resources and opportunities to fairly access resources needed for their survival
“I have served in the disability unit of the University of Namibia as a volunteer for the past few years. One thing I don’t do is ‘bad mouth’ people or treat people with an envious approach; it always makes me happy when I see others thrive. This is where my passion for people with disability was birthed,” he expressed.
Moreover, he maintained he has been volunteering at the disability unit for the past five years and a lot has been initiated under the Office of the Dean of Students, such as traffic signs for people on wheelchairs and the visually impaired.
He said his office finds solutions and engages the corporate world to assist those living with disabilities and the marginalised students from the San, Ovahimba and Ovathemba communities.
He said the people living with disabilities face numerous challenges.
“The challenge we have at Unam is [that] those who are not aware of these people living with disabilities end up bumping [into] them because they don’t know if these students can’t see. Sometimes, they are left in class because there is no one to escort them back to their rooms,” he stated.
The fact is volunteers are few in number, which hampers their volunteerism work to escort these needy students to classes and taxis when they knock off.
The Unam disability unit is currently housing over 100 students.
According to him, Unam has been doing a great job in terms of sustaining people living with disabilities, and the university has also been spending a number of funds to ensure different computer software are availed for visually impaired students and hearing-impaired students.
Ngutjinazo also serves in the newly-formed Student Union of Namibia (SUN), where he is required to serve all students from marginalised backgrounds and people living with disabilities under his office as the secretary of the marginalised community and policy analysis.
He said this also gives him an opportunity to work with people with disability from all walks of life, especially in the academic space
Equally, he noted, as volunteers, they are currently fighting to ensure different universities have traffic signs to pave way for those living with disabilities.
Of late, he was asked to voluntarily help in the establishment of the Trade Union of People Living with Disability Across all Employment Sectors (TUDAES). He also served as the Youth League President of Swanu of Namibia as a volunteer.
“Oh yes, I am job hunting for a decent job to sustain myself also because I cannot be a volunteer forever. Currently, I am registered for a master’s programme, where I am writing a thesis on trade unionism and labour studies in Namibia,” he noted. He believes volunteering is a powerful tool, as it helps a person to gain a certain degree of interpersonal skills and work experience, adding it also helps with political and economic connections – but also ethical connection.
“So, let’s volunteer and help where we can; your contribution would be effective and could bless someone’s life,” he encouraged.
2020-03-04 07:08:52 | 4 months ago