Opio’s story is unusual compared to other people with disabilities in his region. He owns 12 goats, 7 cows, 14 beehives, approximately one hectare for tomatoes, and two hectares for bananas.
Asked how he was able to become successful in his profession, he replied, “I taught myself to take care of myself. I use every skill I possess, no matter how small, so that I can manage my own land.”
In addition, Opio points to the importance of the people in his environment. “I respect the people around me, and I am friendly to them. That is why these people in turn also respect me. My family and community stand behind me fully and that makes the difference.”
The importance of self-confidence and contacts
Opio talks about the importance of building up self-confidence for people with disabilities. As soon as they build up enough self-confidence, they will go look for opportunities. He recalls a day when he had to visit the office of an organisation that was giving away cows. He wanted to join the group and thanks to his membership he was able to start his business. Thanks to the one cow he received, he was able to expand his business to what it is today.
Opio also thinks it is important for people with disabilities to visit and learn from each other. He is good at growing potatoes and tomatoes. These skills earn money for him and allow him to support his family. He is happy to share his knowledge and skills with others. He knows mobility is a significant challenge, but the doors of his house are always open to people with disabilities.