‘I Can’ awards winners PLWDs’ rights envoys

20Jul 2019
Henry Mwangonde
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
‘I Can’ awards winners PLWDs’ rights envoys

WINNERS of the late Dr Reginald Mengi’s I Can awards 2019 were yesterday declared ambassadors for the rights and empowerment of people with disabilities in an initiative aimed at embracing the legacy of the founder.

Jackline Mengi

At an event in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the trustee for the foundation Jackline Mengi who graced the occasion said the winners have been awarded to inspire others to do great things.

She called upon people with disabilities to live up to what the late Dr Mengi believed, saying that on her part she will ensure she takes from where he left.

“Am happy that the foundation was formed, established when he was still alive, and this is a foundation for all of us to play our role in ensuring that PLWDs were supported to achieve their dreams,” she said.

Jackline, widow of the late Dr Mengi who was speaking to the media for the first time since the death of her husband used the opportunity to thank the government and Tanzanians for the love they showed to her family during the trying time.

The Managing Director  for the Dr Reginald Mengi Persons with Disabilities Foundation Shimimana Ntuyabaliwe said the aim was to recognize but also ensure that the dream that the late Dr Mengi wanted the disabled to be was realized.

“The late Dr Mengi dedicated his whole life serving the disabled, and the foundation was established mainly to continue this great job that he left with us,” she said.

In December 2018, the foundation launched Tanzania’s first awards to recognize talents and achievements of people with disability, unveiling its inaugural winners in February 2019 during the philanthropist’s annual dinner with people with disability.

The awards recognizes disabled people who have done great things which can be used as examples to the society in areas like education, politics, leadership, entrepreneurship, entertainment, sports and others.

The foundation was formed in pursuit of Dr Mengi’s contributions towards improving the lives of disabled people in the country.

During this year’s dinner, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa proposed the establishment of a foundation to coordinate and address some of the challenges facing disabled people in honor and appreciation for the passionate commitment by Dr Mengi in advocating for the welfare of the needy.

The premier who graced the luncheon hosted by Dr Mengi for people with disabilities in Dar es Salaam said the IPP chairman had done enough, maintaining that it was time for the government and other stakeholders to join him on this initiative.

He said it was enough now for Dr Mengi to carry the whole burden of assisting people with disabilities personally. Dr Mengi led the way for 24 years.

The PM proposed the foundation to be named ‘Dr Reginald Mengi Disabled Foundation’ and promised to inject 10m/- in the fund once it begins operations.

The name of the foundation was to be an appreciation for the personal efforts by Dr Mengi and his family in giving what he has earned for the needy, and he would go into records as one of the few Tanzanians who are passionate with the lives of others, the premier had underlined.