Jack Maki is a man of 46 years old of age living in Luganville from Paama. He is a very active person. We can see him in Luganville easily because he goes out to walk around the town so as to talk with his friends every day.
Sometimes he joins to some sports, such as sitting volleyball, shot-putting, and so on.
He is one of the active members of the para-athletes team in Luganville and the chairman of new DPO (Disabled Peoples Organization) the Santo Pepsi Disability Association which was established with a vision to advocate through theatre. Their purpose is increasing awareness on human rights.
He is the only son in his family and born without a disability.
He got disability 17th September in 2015, due to diabetes, his leg was imputed and uses crutches to assist him to move around.
His wife finds a job to support them but it still was not enough so Jack is trying is best to find a job also.
When he walks around Luganville town, there are many people who don’t call him his name.
They call him “Jack Handicap” or “Jack Broke Leg”. These words make him feel so terrible.
But he always tells them resolutely that never call him by names, he also tells them “It’s a challenge that God gave me. But if you call me names, God will give you a challenge like me.”
He says there are many discriminations in Luganville town. And it’s a barrier.
For example, the government cashier is located on the 2nd floor of VNPF and it is hard for him to access and be able to pay his bills. There are no ramp nor is elevator. So even if there are women with pram, elderly people, wheelchair users, they too will not be able to access these services. That’s so hard for them.
Now, Sale kava every evening at his place and he is planning to upgrade his Kava Bar with income he is been winning in the evenings.
Today, there are plenty of kava bars in Luganville. He said that his business will be success.
But now he still got some problems. He really needs assistant to help him find a job to make payment for assistant and some bills and taxes.
He is insisting the fact that every people with disability have same right as people without disability.
So, every public institution must be accessible for every people with disability and include them inside their community.
He said, “Peoples with disability living in Luganville are shame to go out from their house. We must make possible for them to access to town in order to include them. Vanuatu skills partnership have few programs that supports people with disabilities and inclusion. We can do it. We can talk. But usually we need assistant.
But my friends with disability are confined to bed are worried that there is no way to feel free, also, they lost hope. They say that they don’t have the rights same as people without disability because they can’t walk around anymore.”
That’s wrong. Every people with disability definitely have the rights same as everyone else.
So, we must encourage them and keep advocating for the rights of people with disability like me, Jack.