Bukoba Disabled Assistance Project (BUDAP) was established
in June 2005. It was the vision of its founders Raymond Mukwenda
and William O. Rutta, two local Tanzanian men, and Bart Lacroix,
a Dutch volunteer, to create an organization that would specifically
work with the survivors of polio. They realized many victims
of polio had a difficult time procuring work because employers
would give preference to people who are physically sound,
and have a secondary school education. Polio survivors in
Tanzania earn less than a dollar a day by doing casual work,
such as shoe repair or by begging for money.
Together, they hired a master drum maker
from Kagera in Tanzania, rented a workshop and began on-the-job
training for seven disabled people on how to make traditional
Tanzanian drums called ngoma. BUDAP's workforce has since
expanded to more than a dozen people.
BUDAP expanded their operations in June
2006 and started training and employing disabled women affected
by polio to produce handbags. As a team they run the BUDAP
workshop successfully. Today BUDAP's workforce also consists
of people with physical disabilities other than polio.
is short for poliomyelitis. The polio virus lives in the throat
and intestinal tract of infected persons. It is a disease
that can damage the nervous system and cause paralysis. Since
polio immunization has become widespread in the United States,
cases of polio are rare. However, polio remains a problem
in many parts of the world.
Before the availability of polio immunization,
polio was common worldwide. However, with strong immunization
programs and efforts to rid the world of polio, circulation
of polio viruses is limited to a decreasing number of countries.
The greatest risk is now in the Indian subcontinent and Africa.