ZIRP leaves no one behind – Promoting social inclusion in construction

Takarindwa Gari is a 33-year-old man born with cerebral palsy in Matezwa Village, Chipinge. Takarindwa has difficulties walking, he does not have full function of his hands, and his speech is impaired. Growing up, he never had a chance to interact with children his age as they were all afraid of him and some even branded him a wizard. He started walking at the age of 20, but unfortunately, he lost his mother then. An elderly aunt (tete) took him.

Though life was difficult for him, the community has always looked out for him. When UNOPS came to Matezwa-Gumira in 2020, some community members heard that UNOPS also considers people living with disabilities as part of their community workers and immediately registered him. Takaraindwa was enrolled as a community worker with ZIRP and got his first-ever paying job at 33. 

“I managed to buy my first phone and also food for my aunt. UNOPS was the first organisation to recognise me as a human capable of earning a living!”

Under ZIRP, UNOPS ensures that every site has representation of people living with disabilities either through direct employment or employing people who are taking care of people living with disabilities. The beneficiary selection criteria used by UNOPS prioritises marginalised groups, including people living with disabilities. Takarindwa enjoys his job and makes sure that he meets the targets set for him that day. Targets are set as per the capacity of carrying out the work for the individual to make sure that the job does not make him worse off but that the person carrying out the job feels useful.