NAME ::: Gervais Mbunda COUNTRY ::: Tanzania
Gervais repairs shoes. He tought it himself. For him that was one of the few things he could do for work. Gervais is deaf.
Gervais Nditi lives in the small countryside village Kijumba Juu in the southern highlands of Tanzania with his family. When Gervais was born everything was alright and he grew up under conditions that were not easy, but at the same time good enough to go to Primary School. In his second year of Primary School, when he was eleven, he suffered from Meningitis. This resulted in different long-term side-effects. Beside that he turned deaf he became regularly epileptic attacks, what at the end made him being dropped out of school as the teachers couldn’t handle the attacks. But to make his situation even worse, he now needed a good amount of medication every month, something he could only get in Songea, four hours busdrive from the village. The expenses for the drugs and the transport every month, this made his family fighting hard. Their main income is from farming, mainly coffee, what covers the main living expenses, but makes it a hard story to get enough money for his medication.
His mother, Laurensia Mapunda, does not hesitate to answer, when she is asked, what the biggest struggle in her life is – To get the money together to allow her son a living without too much suffering. But she also does not hesitate to answer, when she is asked what makes her proud. It is her son and that she managed to raise him and that he is still alive.
Gervais wanted to do something, he wanted to not only be a burden for his family. So he searched for something that allowed him to earn at least some money. So he taught himself how to repair shoes. While a lot of the people here are unemployed, Gervais created his own job. Every other day he walks around in the village and collects shoes to repair them for as little as 500Tsh (around 0,25 Euro). While many people in his situation would fall into a negative approch to life, he has something he is proud of, what keeps him busy and most importantly allows him to support himself. A very inspiring person.