November 8, 2021

Legs4Africa’s Bursaries Project: One Year On!

Featured image for “Legs4Africa’s Bursaries Project: One Year On!”

Can you believe it’s been a year since our first ever recipients of a Legs4Africa scholarship flew out to Tanzania to start their prosthetics adventure?

We hope you’ve been following their journey as eagerly as we have. Here’s what’s happening at Training HQ at Team Legs, one year in!

As a reminder, this project, in partnership with the Tanzania Training Centre for Orthopedic Technologists (TATCOT), provides fully-funded places on the one year Certificate Course in Lower-Limb Prosthetics, including tuition, flights, accommodation and living expenses. This opportunity enables women with limb-loss to increase their employability and build careers in the prosthetic industry, while challenging norms and stigma around gender and disability.

” I am an amputee; I understand how it feels like to have one’s mobility restored”

Ophia Bwanali

Last year Molline, Winnie, Ophia and Judith were chosen as the first four ladies to receive this opportunity, and after 10 months’ they have made lasting friendships with each other and benefitted from the company of women who share their experience, as well as the networking opportunities provided by studying at one of the main P&O institutions in Africa. Now they have returned home to complete the final phase in their certificate course: 6 months supervised clinical placement in a prosthetic workshop. For the next 6 months Ophia and Molline will be placed at Leonard Cheshire Disability in Harare, Winnie and Lusaka University Teaching Hospital, and Judith at Kenyatta National Hospital.

“Through TATCOT I have been able to lay a foundation in achieving greater things”

Winnie Mukunta

We’ll continue to follow their progress over the next 6 months as they prepare to commence their new prosthetics careers.

Class of 2022

Over the last few months we have also been busy selecting the next cohort of students, so… without further ado, meet our 2021 scholarship recipients!
  • Bernadette Niyoyitungira (left of photo) from Burundi. Bernadette is an active advocate for the rights of women with disabilities and has volunteered with Nyamirambo Women’s Centre in Kigali, Rwanda, the Association des Femmes Handicapées du Burundi, and the Young African’s Initiative for Disabled Persons.

  • Solange Nyiraneza (right in photo) from Rwanda. Solange is a sitting volleyball athlete who recently returned from competing in the Tokyo Paralympics, and has worked in an orthopedic workshop for 3 years.
  • Cindy Cherotich from Kenya. She has previously worked in a salon and was working towards a certificate in secretarial studies when she found out about this opportunity.

  • Hawanatu Sillah from Sierra Leone. Hawanatu has volunteered in orthopedic workshops and is passionate about keeping disabled people out of poverty.

  • Emmaculate Samuel from Malawi. Emmaculate has a certificate in financial accounting and has worked as a teacher.

  • Damaris Moyo from Malawi. Becoming a trained prosthetist has been Damaris’ desire for a long time, having worked as a receptionist and then bench worker in the orthopedic dept at Kamuzu Central Hospital for the last 8 years.

Term started on 8th November, so please join us in wishing the best of luck to our six new students as they start their adventure in prosthetic technology, and keep your eyes and ears peeled for updates on their progress over the next year!

We are so proud of this project which has the potential to really impact the gender divide in the prosthetics industry and provide role models for women and people with limb loss to look up to and prove, as Judith rightly puts it: “that disability is no longer inability’.

Want to support our work? Click here to make a donation or find ways to show your support, and let’s get more people moving and working again in sub-Saharan Africa.