Disability in Everyday Life
Managing disability is achievable, and it is a possible journey, but it requires large capital, continuous support, as well as many other factors. Therefore, individuals with a disability who can maintain independence are likely to hold the benefit of either having enough money to support themselves or be surrounded by great social and emotional support.
Unfortunately, non of the above-mentioned are related to the main character of this article. Thus, this article aims to present, learn, and discover the story of Mr. Jeffery James.
Jeffery is a very talented and positive individual living in a small village located in Delta State, Nigeria. Overall, living in Nigeria can be challenging, but for someone like Jeffery, he makes the most of his days and carries through life with inspiring and contagious energy.
Forming New Friendship
Earlier this Fall, a young man named Jeffery reached out through Instagram and introduced himself as a disabled orphan living in Nigeria. He asked us how we can help him become affiliated with disabled sports in the United States. From clicking on Jeffery’s social media page, we quickly became aware of his situation and saw how our lives are so different. We seem to live on a different planet, yet it is the same one.
We sent a Christmas present to Nigeria in the hopes of it making it to the correct address in a very foreign country. We began DM’ing Jeffery back and forth, and we’re excited to make a connection across the globe. We realized we have some things in common too. Jeffery is a big fan of the American football team, Kansas City Chiefs, and loves to listen to Yemi Alade and Mr. Eazi.
Quickly our small conversations turned more serious. Jeffery began sharing about his life at home and his daily routines. We learned that the government does not provide any aid or assistance to individuals living with a disability in Nigeria. As a result, individuals with disabilities are been treated not like any other citizen. This may go against one of the fundamental human rights – which is Accessibility to essential services such as shelter, food, and health for those who are less able.
Jeffery continued to reach out daily and ask how we were. He showed interest in personal matters and asked us about life in America. A lovely connection was beginning to blossom.
The new year was approaching, and I asked how he was celebrating the new year. He replied that he does not have many friends in his village and that his circle support is lacking. He proceeded to tell me that in Nigeria, peers were close-minded towards accepting and acknowledging him as a person due to his disability and appearance.
Jeffery opened up about his past and shared that he lost his parents in 2008 to Boko Haram, a jihadist terrorist organization based in northeastern Nigeria, and lived on the streets from a young age. He would crash at friends’ couches and use their internet for social media and general communication. Jeffery now goes back and forth between different places; usually, it is a place where he can rest his head down. He shared with us videos and photos from his village.
Jeffery would reached out every day and ask how we were and was interested in our lives, sometimes through DM, other times through phone calls, and even sending us awesome Nigerian pop music. After taking in what Jeffrey had shared with us, we were feeling very reflective. We are so used to living in our own bubble that we sometimes forget there is a whole world outside of our lives. Privilege and access are really at the forefront of our minds. We hope to use the platform and voice we have to help Jeffery in his hometown and, most importantly, help him afford rent in his village and have enough to eat.
Jeffery’s potential to fulfill his goals and his dream is somewhat dependent on others’ involvement. Thus, we would like to use our platform to provide greater exposure to Jeffery’s story. We believe that providing a support system and faith in this individual can lead to a great success story.