By: Itumeleng Majoro


International Wheelchair Day is the day that marks events and activities that take place all over the world, concerning wheelchair users as they celebrate the encouraging effect a wheelchair has on their daily lives. The day is normally celebrated on March 1st annually.

This year, Lesotho joined the health international standard of organization and took initiative to host its first commemoration of this day through administration of the Lesotho National Association of Physically Disabled (LNAPD), giving prominence to Basotho living with disabilities and empowering them to enjoy their social, economic and political human rights.

The day is also celebrated to acknowledge people who create technological advances for wheelchairs; to thank people who support and care for wheelchair users, especially close friends and families. Again, to give a chance of participation to wheelchair users in the community, get involved in social activities and more. This year’s theme was, ‘celebrating mobility and inclusion,’ so why not organize your own personal celebration or involve your school, place of work or charitable organization to commemorate the impact of wheelchairs on people’s lives throughout the world?

In 2022 it was said that the organization congratulated Minister of Gender, Youth, Social Development Hon. Lesaoana Pitso for winning the constituency of Maama, through which he rose to then be designated as the Minister of Gender, Youth and Social development.

“The election of Lesaoana indicates that people with disability have the ability to represent and lead the public,” says LNFOD’s Executive Director Advocate Nkhasi Sefuthi. He says his election calls for our country to provide a conducive environment for the participation of people with disabilities, also expressing hope that Hon. Lesaoana will be in parliament having a different perspective on issues affecting the disabled, as well urging people with disabilities to be in the forefront and be bold to partake in leadership positions.

Accordingly, its high time that people with disabilities stand up for their own rights. They should ignore the set of negative and unfair beliefs that the society have about them, all they need to do is persevere in their roles like any other human beings. Give hope to the growing generation with disabilities that there are opportunities waiting out there.

The theme of celebrating mobility and inclusion begins with each one of us because by raising awareness and challenging societal norms, we can build a world where everyone has equal opportunity to thrive.

One individual who has been at the forefront of advocating for disability rights and inclusion is Esi Hardy from England, the founder and owner of “Celebrating Disabilities.” Her lived experiences and expertise have been instrumental in highlighting the barriers faced by disabled individuals and helping organizations to implement strategies for a truly inclusive workforce, which is what we would like to witness in Lesotho. Disability inclusion is not only a matter of basic human rights but also enriches our society as a whole. When we recognize and value the capabilities of disabled individuals, we create a society that is more diverse, innovative and compassionate.

As claimed by LENA in 2023, the disabled wanted the community councilors to work with them. The agency further highlighted that some people with different kinds of disabilities have incite the newly elected community councilors to engage them for the progressive development of their communities. “Work with us, do not work about us,” says the physically disabled Mokheseng Ncheke.

“Our disabilities are not our inability, it is due season that we get involved and considered in community developments for decision making purposes,” he adds. Communities should ask for their input, ask for their preferences, needs and comfort levels regarding socializing as a way of a tailored support to their specific situations.

“Actions speak louder than words,” says the LNFOD on its Facebook page, claiming that the government of Lesotho through its social protection strategy states that, persons with disabilities would be provided disability grants to support their disability related costs from the year 2016. It further confirms that this good initiative was never implemented and,

“still there are currently no signs that it will be any time soon. There is a need for the government to put proper mechanism that will enable us to live sustainable lives. This can only happen if there are appropriate policies aimed at improving the lives of disabled people in Lesotho,” commented Mr. Nkoko Mokati. He say this supports the idea that if the government shows complementary passion on matters like this, the celebration of International Wheelchair Day can give the most eventful meaning in the country. The association was established in 1991 as a member of the Lesotho National Federation Organizations of the Disabled (LNFOD). It is an umbrella body dealing with and seeking to address the needs and aspirations of disabled people exemplifying leadership in Lesotho. Its mission is to safeguard, promote and defend the rights of people with