Surviving the Storm - Castigo and Cyclone Idai
On March 14th, 2019, Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique with winds of up to 170 km/h which left the city destroyed. One extraordinary young man, from Beira, named Castigo is no stranger to Light for the World. Castigo survived the natural disaster and shared his story with us below.
"When all started to fall my wife and I were under the table. It was that table that saved us from certain death."
The big challenge that Castigo is currently facing is his assistive device has been damaged.
"During the cyclone, my tricycle was broken by a coconut tree that fell over it." - Castigo
Several weeks prior to the cyclone, the charismatic and globetrotting TV presenter, Ade Adepitan brought the world to the streets of Mozambique in a popular BBC travel documentary known as "Africa with Ade Adepitan".
In this episode, Ade met the equally captivating Castigo and experienced for himself how difficult it is to perform day to day tasks with a disability in Beira, Mozambique.
"In Mozambique, I'd heard about an NGO trying to change attitudes, and they are doing it in a way I know works. Light for the World works with people with disabilities across Africa" - Ade Adepitan
Only twenty-one years young, Castigo is considered to be one of the most promising youngsters of adapted basketball in Sofala. He recently lost his mother, and lives with his father on the outskirts of Beira city, in the Maraza area.
Castigo has dreams as big as his smile. One of his biggest dreams he has is to one day live in a country where people are not discriminated against for having a disability.
"I would like to have work, my own home, a wife and children. I would like to be able to walk without fear of being mistaken for a beggar. Whenever I go to the shops, people despise me. I notice that they look at me with disdain because they think that I am there to beg, and they do not even imagine that I am also fighting and I do not need to beg.” - Castigo
This talented and bright young man was forced to drop out of school in the 9th grade due to problems with his wheelchair.
“My wheelchair is always causing me problems. This time it was more complicated, it had been almost a month since I went to school because of the long distance. It is almost impossible to travel to school without a wheelchair because public transport, apart from being chaotic, does not help people with disabilities get to where they need to go.” - Castigo
Even simple activities most would take for granted, such as buying your own clothes, could not be done by Castigo.
“I have not bought my own clothes for a long time because whenever I arrive, the salespeople ignore me, tell me that they do not know the prices, or that the person in charge of the store is not around. I also quit my job at the local cinema because when customers would pay their tickets, they would throw the money on the floor so as not to have to touch my hand. I had to quit because I could not take the humiliation anymore. So now I'm working as a bicycle repairman." - Castigo
Light for the World has made it possible for Castigo to join a welding course this past year at the Young Africa Professional Training Center in Beira. Castigo is confident that this is a great opportunity for him to be able to start his own business and become an entrepreneur.
"That was really nice to see Castigo finally smiling. Here he comes and plays sports and he finally gets that positivity and he feels strong, and he feels like himself. If he can have more positive experiences like this, then yeah one day he will achieve his dreams and have a family and a normal life, which is what he deserves." -Ade Adepitan