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History of BUDAP

Chakupewa at workThe 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.

What is Polio?

BUDAP's WorkshopPolio 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.