By Tapiwa Mutizamhepo
Tose Respite Care Home (TRCH) recently celebrated their silver jubilee marking 25 years of providing speech therapy, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy among other rehabilitation services to people with disabilities.
TRCH was founded in 1992 by Mrs Desi Page after having worked with children with disabilities in the United Kingdom. With the support of her late husband Tim Page, they set out to fill up the ‘tremendous gaps in the care and rehabilitation of people with severe mental and physical disabilities in Zimbabwe’.
Speaking at the celebrations ceremony, Mrs Page said, “Our main challenge then was parents of the children with disabilities who were reluctant to bring them to this institution, believing the children could not do anything and opted to keep them at home without specialised care, a situation that further compounded the situation of the children”.
TRCH director, Stella Faranisi said, ““It is no longer the time where we are supposed to gauge the capabilities or limitations of someone by merely looking at their physical makeup…If we fully support these children here, we will be all amazed of the things they are able to do. It’s high time, we as Zimbabweans do away with those traditional beliefs that associate disability with curses, we should understand that it’s just a way of life”.
Faranisi said, “We appeal to government, the corporate world to assist us in whatever way they can, no help is deemed too small, right now our hydrotherapy pool is not in use as it consumes too much electricity and at least $6 000 is required to convert the pool into a solar powered one”.
Tose has an all-inclusive approach and it is currently home to 42 people and despite the remarkable work they have been doing relevant stakeholders are yet to warm up to extend the much-needed help.